Published online Feb 14, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i6.957
Peer-review started: October 7, 2016
First decision: October 20, 2016
Revised: November 21, 2016
Accepted: January 11, 2017
Article in press: January 11, 2017
Published online: February 14, 2017
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a serious inflammatory disease with rising incidence both in the adult and pediatric populations. It has been shown that mitochondrial injury and energy depletion are the earliest intracellular events in the early phase of AP. Moreover, it has been revealed that restoration of intracellular ATP level restores cellular functions and defends the cells from death. We have recently shown in a systematic review and meta-analysis that early enteral feeding is beneficial in adults; however, no reviews are available concerning the effect of early enteral feeding in pediatric AP. In this minireview, our aim was to systematically analyse the literature on the treatment of acute pediatric pancreatitis. The preferred reporting items for systematic review (PRISMA-P) were followed, and the question was drafted based on participants, intervention, comparison and outcomes: P: patients under the age of twenty-one suffering from acute pancreatitis; I: early enteral nutrition (per os and nasogastric- or nasojejunal tube started within 48 h); C: nil per os therapy; O: length of hospitalization, need for treatment at an intensive care unit, development of severe AP, lung injury (including lung oedema and pleural effusion), white blood cell count and pain score on admission. Altogether, 632 articles (PubMed: 131; EMBASE: 501) were found. After detailed screening of eligible papers, five of them met inclusion criteria. Only retrospective clinical trials were available. Due to insufficient information from the authors, it was only possible to address length of hospitalization as an outcome of the study. Our mini-meta-analysis showed that early enteral nutrition significantly (SD = 0.806, P = 0.034) decreases length of hospitalization compared with nil per os diet in acute pediatric pancreatitis. In this minireview, we clearly show that early enteral nutrition, started within 24-48 h, is beneficial in acute pediatric pancreatitis. Prospective studies and better presentation of research are crucially needed to achieve a higher level of evidence.
Core tip: Acute pancreatitis is a serious inflammatory disease with rising incidence both in adult and pediatric medicine. Despite the existing research activities in this field, no specific therapy is available to treat this disease. Results in basic science strongly suggest that early energy restoration could be the first-line treatment for acute pancreatitis. Our minireview suggests that early enteral nutrition should have priority in the treatment of acute pediatric pancreatitis.