Enteral nutrition support in acute pancreatitis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To review the controversies surrounding the use of nutritional interventions, particularly enteral support, in patients with acute pancreatitis. DATA SOURCES: Articles were obtained through a MEDLINE search (1966-June 1999). Additionally, several textbooks containing information on the diagnosis and management of acute pancreatitis were reviewed. The bibliographies of retrieved publications and textbooks were reviewed for additional references. STUDY SELECTION: All original investigations in humans pertaining to the use of enteral nutritional support in acute pancreatitis were reviewed for inclusion. Studies that investigated parenteral nutrition in acute pancreatitis were also reviewed, with preference given to controlled comparisons with enteral regimens or no nutritional support. DATA EXTRACTION: The primary outcomes extracted from the literature were time to oral feeding tolerance, complications (e.g., infection) associated with nutritional support, and length of stay. DATA SYNTHESIS: The duration of pancreatitis and time to oral feedings is similar whether patients receive enteral (i.e., jejunal tube feedings) or parenteral nutrition. Additionally, complications, length of stay, and costs are either similar or decreased with enteral versus parenteral nutrition. CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence suggests that the enteral rather than parenteral route should be used to provide nutrition to patients with acute pancreatitis. Parenteral nutrition should be reserved for patients in whom nasojejunal feeding is not possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-521
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Enteral nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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