Comparison of complications attributable to enteral and parenteral nutrition in predicted severe acute pancreatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Maxim S Petrov, Kevin Whelan
British Journal of Nutrition 2010, 103 (9): 1287-95
Enteral nutrition (EN) reduces infectious complications and mortality compared with parenteral nutrition (PN) in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis. However, to date the complications attributable to the administration of EN and PN in this patient group have not been comprehensively studied. The aim of the study was to systematically review the complications related to the use of nutrition in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis receiving EN v. PN. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and Scopus were searched. Randomised controlled trials (RCT) of EN v. PN in predicted severe acute pancreatitis were selected. Pooled estimates of complications were expressed as OR with corresponding 95 % CI. Data from five RCT were meta-analysed. Diarrhoea occurred in six of ninety-two (7 %) patients receiving PN and twenty-four of eighty-two (29 %) patients receiving EN (OR 0.20; 95 % CI 0.09, 0.43; P < 0.001). Hyperglycaemia developed in twenty-one of ninety-two (23 %) patients receiving PN and nine of eighty-two (11 %) receiving EN (OR 2.59; 95 % CI 1.13, 5.94; P = 0.03). Given a significant reduction in infectious complications and mortality associated with the use of EN over PN that has been consistently demonstrated in previous studies, the former should be the treatment of choice in acute pancreatitis. Further clinical studies should investigate the strategies to mitigate the complications of enteral tube feeding in patients with acute pancreatitis.

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