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Drugs. 2009;69(5):505-14. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200969050-00001.

Treatment of acute pancreatitis: focus on medical care.

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Department of Surgery, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Acute pancreatitis has an incidence of about 300 per 1 million individuals per year, of which 10-15% of patients develop the severe form of the disease. Novel management options, which have the potential to improve outcome, include initial proper fluid resuscitation, which maintains microcirculation and thereby potentially decreases ischaemia and reperfusion injury. The traditional treatment concept in acute pancreatitis, fasting and parenteral nutrition, has been challenged and early initiation of enteral feeding in severe pancreatitis and oral intake in mild acute pancreatitis is both feasible and provides some benefits. There are at present no data supporting immunonutritional supplements and probiotics should be avoided in patients with acute pancreatitis. There is also no evidence of any benefits provided by prophylactic antibacterials in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis. A variety of specific medical interventions have been investigated (e.g. intense blood glucose monitoring by insulin) but none has become clinically useful. Lessons can probably be learned from critical care in general, but studies are needed to verify these interventions in acute pancreatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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