How do enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition compare in patients with acute pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis, an acute inflammatory condition, is thought to be due to activation of enzymes in the pancreatic acinar cells, with inflammation spreading into the surrounding tissues.1 According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse Web site,2 the incidence of acute pancreatitis is 17 new cases per 100 000 persons in the United States (1976–1988).

Early nutritional support plays an important role in preventing serious complications and ensuring optimal recovery in patients with acute pancreatitis and malnutrition.3 Patients who cannot tolerate oral feeding are given either enteral or parenteral nutrition. In enteral nutrition, nutritional formula is administered into a feeding tube placed into the stomach or small intestine. In parenteral nutrition, nutritional formula is delivered directly into the blood through a catheter in a vein. The key difference between these 2 types of nutrition...

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