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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 857949, 9 pages
Review Article

Enteral Nutrition and Acute Pancreatitis: A Review

1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Rijnstate Hospital, P.O. Box 9555, 6800 TA Arnhem, The Netherlands
2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
3Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 12 May 2010; Accepted 22 June 2010

Academic Editor: Rémy Meier

Copyright © 2011 B. W. M. Spanier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. In patients with acute pancreatitis (AP), nutritional support is required if normal food cannot be tolerated within several days. Enteral nutrition is preferred over parenteral nutrition. We reviewed the literature about enteral nutrition in AP. Methods. A MEDLINE search of the English language literature between 1999–2009. Results. Nasogastric tube feeding appears to be safe and well tolerated in the majority of patients with severe AP, rendering the concept of pancreatic rest less probable. Enteral nutrition has a beneficial influence on the outcome of AP and should probably be initiated as early as possible (within 48 hours). Supplementation of enteral formulas with glutamine or prebiotics and probiotics cannot routinely be recommended. Conclusions. Nutrition therapy in patients with AP emerged from supportive adjunctive therapy to a proactive primary intervention. Large multicentre studies are needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of nasogastric feeding and to investigate the role of early nutrition support.