Although enteral nutrition was linked to better outcomes in acute pancreatitis (AP), previous research has not focused on critically ill patients. For a study, researchers sought to determine if there was a link between nutritional support and infectious complications in AP ICU patients. The eICU Collaborative included a retrospective analysis of patients admitted to ICUs in 127 US hospitals with AP. Patients were classified according to the type of nutritional support they received (both initial and ongoing): none (NN), oral (ON), enteral (EN), and parenteral nutrition (PN). There were 925 patients found. The initial PN group had a longer length of stay (PN 21.3±15.4 d, EN 19.1±20.1 d, ON 8 ±7.1 d, NN 6.6±6.3 d, P<0.001), and the initial EN group had a higher mortality rate (EN 16.7%, PN 8.9%, ON 2.7%, NN 10.9%, P<0.001). Any EN use was found to be associated with infections (OR 2.12, 95% CI: 1.13–3.98, P=0.019) and pneumonia (OR 2.04, 95% CI: 1.04–4.03, P=0.039) in multivariate analysis. EN was linked to an increased risk of pneumonia and overall infections in critically ill AP patients. More research was needed to determine the best nutritional approaches for critically ill AP patients and patients who cannot tolerate EN.
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