What is the best way to feed patients with pancreatitis?Curr Opin Crit Care. 2009 Apr; 15(2):131-8.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Patients with acute pancreatitis have traditionally been treated with 'bowel rest'. Recent data, however, suggest that this approach may be associated with increased morbidity and mortality. This paper reviews evolving concepts in the nutritional management of patients with acute pancreatitis.
Both experimental and clinical data strongly support the concept that enteral nutrition started within 24 h of admission to hospital reduces complications, length of hospital stay and mortality in patients with acute pancreatitis. Clinical trials suggest that both gastric and jejunal tube feeding is well tolerated in patients with severe pancreatitis. Although there is limited data for the optimal type of enteral feed, a semielemental formula with omega-3 fatty acids is recommended. On the basis of current evidence, immune modulating formulas with added arginine and probiotics are not recommended.
Nutritional support should be viewed as an active therapeutic intervention that improves the outcome of patients with acute pancreatitis. Enteral nutrition should begin within 24 h after admission and following the initial period of volume resuscitation and control of nausea and pain. Patients with mild acute pancreatitis should be started on a low-fat oral diet. In patients with severe acute pancreatitis, enteral nutrition may be provided by the gastric or jejunal route.