Bowel Obstruction and Pseudo-Obstruction
Clostridium Difficile Colitis
Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
Identify the risk factors for selected abdominal complications of critical illness.
Recall the diagnostic approach to acute pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, mesenteric ischemia, Clostridium difficile colitis, acalculous cholecystitis, and the abdominal compartment syndrome.
Select the appropriate treatment approach to each of the above illnesses when they are encountered in the ICU.
Because patients who develop acute pancreatitis, acute bowel obstruction, mesenteric ischemia, or Clostridium difficile colitis are at increased risk of developing infectious, cardiopulmonary, and renal complications, they are usually cared for by intensivists in the ICU. Furthermore, bowel ischemia, acalculous cholecystitis, pseudomembranous colitis, or abdominal compartment syndrome may complicate non-GI illnesses within the ICU. This chapter focuses on the diagnosis and management of selected abdominal illnesses that critical care physicians commonly encounter and therefore are likely to encounter on the board exam.