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Early Treatment Decisions Can Impact Acute Pancreatitis Course

RM Pancreatitis


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Early Treatment Decisions Can Impact Acute Pancreatitis Course

A guideline compiled by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) helps to create a clearer understanding around choices made during the early stages of acute pancreatitis management, stating that both treatment and management decision made within the initial 48-72 hours of a patient being admitted to the hospital for the condition can tremendously impact the course of the illness during their stay.

A gland organ located in the upper abdomen, the pancreas produces insulin as well as digestive fluids. Unlike chronic pancreatitis, where the pancreas suffers from on-going inflammation and damage to the organ; acute pancreatitis sees this organ suffer from inflammation on a short-term basis, where it subsides within days or weeks, and hospitalization may be required. Having said that, acute pancreatitis flare can repeat, even after the initial one has been treated. Either way, the condition can be quite painful, with patients reporting mild to severe abdominal pain. Approximately over 70% of acute pancreatitis cases are caused by either gallstones or heavy and long-term alcoholic consumption over the years. The disease is said to be the leading cause of inpatient care among gastrointestinal conditions across the United States, with over 275,000 individuals admitted to a hospital each year because of acute pancreatitis. The financial impact of this has been estimated at more than $2.6 billion annually, and there’s reason to believe that these figures are rising.

Managing the acute pancreatitis condition has slowly changed over the last 100 years. As with any condition, the evolution of research and technology has proven to help provide a clearer understanding around management and treatment options. Therefore, new evidence challenges a lot of the long-held past paradigms when it comes to the disease; with the benefits around antibiotics, the mode and timing when it comes to nutritional support, and the timing and utility of cholecystectomy and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), at the forefront of this new thought.

These new guidelines produced by AGA aim to promote high-value, as well as high-quality care and decrease practice variation for acute pancreatitis patients. It helps to answer questions regarding the benefits of early oral feeding, goal-directed fluid resuscitation, routine ERCP, as well as routine use of antibiotics, not to mention parenteral versus enteral nutrition for all those suffering from acute pancreatitis condition.

In addition to the guidelines, a patient companion infographic and technical review has been added that offers important information and key points to patients.The guideline was published in Gastroenterology, AGA’s official journal. For more information on how to access the guideline for review, visit the following link.

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