PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review recent literature on the management of patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) admitted to an ICU.

RECENT FINDINGS: SAP is a devastating disease associated with a high morbidity and mortality. Recent evidence advocates adequate risk assessment and severity prediction (including intra-abdominal pressure monitoring), tailored fluid administration favoring balanced crystalloids, withholding prophylactic antibiotic therapy, and early detection and treatment of extra-pancreatic and fungal infections. Urgent (within 24-48 h after diagnosis) endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is indicated when persistent biliary obstruction or cholangitis are present. Corticosteroid therapy (mainly dexamethasone) can reduce the need for surgical interventions, length of hospital stay, and mortality. Peritoneal lavage may significantly lower morbidity and mortality. Hemofiltration may offer substantial benefit but more studies are needed to prove its efficacy. Enteral feeding using a polymeric formula and provided early through a nasogastric tube is recommended but has no survival benefit compared with parenteral nutrition. Probiotics could be beneficial, however no clear recommendations can be made.

SUMMARY: Management of SAP is multimodal with emphasis on monitoring, adequate fluid resuscitation, avoiding prophylactic use of antibiotics, cause-directed procedures or treatment, and organ support. There is a role for early enteral nutrition including probiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • severe acute pancreatitis, critically ill, morbidity, mortality

ID: 44119317