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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar




Efficacy and Safety of Thoracic Epidural Analgesia in Patients With Acute Pancreatitis: A Narrative Review.


Nair A, Tiwary M K, Seelam S, Kotthapalli K K, Pulipaka K
Cureus. 2022 Mar; 14(3):e23234.
PMID: 35449658.


Patients admitted to the intensive care unit with moderate to severe acute pancreatitis carry significant morbidity and mortality. A few unfortunate patients in whom the initial line of treatment fails to show clinical improvement develop multiorgan dysfunction involving lungs (adult respiratory distress syndrome), renal failure, intra-abdominal infections, sepsis, and septic shock, which ultimately leads to prolonged hospitalization and a substantial cost of treatment. The acute abdominal pain experienced by these patients is excruciating and requires multimodal analgesia. Continuous epidural analgesia has been found to provide good quality, opioid-sparing analgesia in these patients. A few studies have also demonstrated that segmental sympathectomy resulting from epidural blockade could lead to lowering of serum amylase and lipase levels improve paralytic ileus, and thus hastens the process of recovery. The present paper aims to discuss the advantages of continuous epidural analgesia in patients with acute pancreatitis of varying severity and to review the existing literature using specific keywords.