Early Versus Delayed Feeding in Patients With Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review.

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Early Versus Delayed Feeding in Patients With Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review.

Ann Intern Med. 2017 Jun 20;166(12):883-892

Authors: Vaughn VM, Shuster D, Rogers MAM, Mann J, Conte ML, Saint S, Chopra V

Background: Acute pancreatitis is among the most common and costly reasons for hospitalization in the United States. Bowel rest, pain control, and intravenous fluids are the cornerstones of treatment, but early feeding might also be beneficial.
Purpose: To compare length of hospital stay, mortality, and readmission in adults hospitalized with pancreatitis who received early versus delayed feeding.
Data Sources: MEDLINE via Ovid, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and Web of Science through January 2017.
Study Selection: Two authors independently reviewed and selected studies if they were randomized clinical trials, included adults hospitalized with acute pancreatitis, and compared early versus delayed feeding (≤48 vs. >48 hours after hospitalization).
Data Extraction: Two investigators independently extracted study data and rated risk of bias using the Cochrane Collaboration tool.
Data Synthesis: Eleven randomized trials (8 peer-reviewed publications, 3 abstract-only presentations) that included 948 patients were eligible. Seven trials (3 with low risk of bias) enrolled patients with mild to moderate pancreatitis. Four trials (1 with low risk of bias) included patients with predicted severe pancreatitis. Routes used for early feeding included oral (4 studies), nasogastric (2 studies), nasojejunal (4 studies), and oral or nasoenteric (1 study). Among patients with mild to moderate pancreatitis, early feeding was associated with reduced length of stay in 4 of 7 studies (including 2 of 3 with low risk of bias). Other outcomes were heterogeneous and variably reported, but no study showed an increase in adverse events with early feeding. Among patients with severe pancreatitis, limited evidence revealed no statistically significant difference in outcomes between early and delayed feeding.
Limitation: Heterogeneity of feeding protocols and outcomes, scant data, and unclear or high risk of bias in several studies.
Conclusion: Limited data suggest that early feeding in patients with acute pancreatitis does not seem to increase adverse events and, for patients with mild to moderate pancreatitis, may reduce length of hospital stay.
Primary Funding Source: None. (PROSPERO: CRD42015016193).

PMID: 28505667 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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