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J Pediatr (Rio J). 2012 Mar-Apr;88(2):101-14.doi:10.2223/JPED.2163.

Acute pancreatitis in pediatrics: a systematic review of the literature.

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  • 1Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. emf2002@uol.com.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the main epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic and treatment aspects of children with acute pancreatitis.

SOURCES:

Systematic review of MEDLINE and SciELO databases in the last 5 years on acute pancreatitis in children, as well as consultation of relevant references on the texts obtained.

SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS:

Cases of acute pancreatitis in children have received growing attention in recent years, and an increase in the number of cases has been reported in several studies. The main etiologies in children involve biliary disease, drug-induced pancreatitis, recurrent hereditary pancreatitis and trauma, and up to 30% of cases have no defined etiology. The diagnosis is based on the combination of clinical and laboratory aspects with the increase of acinar enzymes and radiologic tests. Initial support treatment, with proper volume replacement and correction of the metabolic disturbances, besides specific nutritional therapy, are the fundamental points in the handling of acute conditions. Long term complications are unusual, and mortality rates are inferior to the rates for the adult population.

CONCLUSION:

The early diagnosis and the appropriate handling can contribute to a better outcome for the child with pancreatitis and to prevent the immediate and late complications related to the disease. More studies are required to better explain aspects related to the clinical and radiological diagnosis of pancreatitis in children, as well as aspects related to the nutritional therapy for this age group.

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