Early feeding in acute pancreatitis in children: A randomized controlled trial

Oren Ledder*, Giles Duvoisin, Marina Lekar, Robert N. Lopez, Harveen Singh, Kate Dehlsen, Raffi Lev-Tzion, Esther Orlanski-Meyer, Eyal Shteyer, Usha Krishnan, Nitin Gupta, Daniel A. Lemberg, Shlomi Cohen, Chee Y. Ooi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Studies have increasingly challenged the traditional management of acute pancreatitis (AP) with bowel rest. However, these studies used a low-fat diet or transgastric feeding and only included adults. Aiming to generate higher-quality prospective pediatric data, we compared the traditional approach of fasting and intravenous fluids and early enteral feeding with standard diet or formula. METHODS: Randomized controlled trial of children (2-18 years) with mild-moderate AP. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to initial fasting and intravenous fluids or an immediate, unrestricted diet. Pain scores, blood measures, and cross-sectional imaging were recorded throughout admission and follow-up. The primary outcome was time to discharge, and secondary outcomes were clinical and biochemical resolution and local and systemic complication rates. RESULTS: Of 33 patients (17 [52%] boys, mean age of 11.5 [64.8] years), 18 (55%) were randomly assigned to early feeding and 15 (45%) were randomly assigned to initial fasting. We recorded the median (interquartile range [IQR]) time to discharge (2.6 [IQR 2.0 to 4.0] vs 2.9 [IQR 1.8 to 5.6]; P =.95), reduction in serum lipase levels by day 2 (58% [IQR 2% to 85%] vs 48% [IQR 3% to 71%]; P =.65), and readmission rates (1 of 18 [6%] vs 2 of 15 [13%]; P =.22) between the early feeding and fasting cohorts, respectively. Immediate or delayed complication rates did not differ. Patients randomly assigned to early feeding had weight gain of 1.3 kg (IQR 0.29 to 3.6) at follow-up, compared with weight loss of 0.8 kg (IQR 22.1 to 0.7) in fasted patients (P =.028). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first randomized controlled trial in pediatric AP. There was no difference between early commencement of a standard oral diet and initial fast in any of the major outcome measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20201149
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


FundersFunder number
Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation


    Dive into the research topics of 'Early feeding in acute pancreatitis in children: A randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this