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Measurement of intra-abdominal pressure in dogs and cats


  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint request to

Dr. Shelley Smith, VCA Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, 123 West Cedar Street, Norwalk, CT, 06854, USA.




To review and summarize the human and veterinary literature on intra-abdominal pressure measurement techniques.

Data Sources

Human and veterinary clinical studies, research articles, reviews, and textbooks with no date restrictions with a focus on techniques for intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) measurement and their limitations.

Human Data Synthesis

Human literature has established the intravesicular method as the gold standard for indirect measurement of IAP. However, current research has explored the intragastric method as a valid alternative. Recently, debate has focused on the shortcomings of the various measurement methods.

Veterinary Data Synthesis

Early human literature using dogs as models contributed to the original data for IAP measurements in small animals. Since that time, a number of clinical studies and 1 case report have contributed to that original information. A reference interval for IAP measured by the intravesicular method has recently been determined in healthy cats.


Further studies investigating IAP in critically ill veterinary patients are required to establish the optimal technique for this measurement in veterinary medicine.