Management of acute pancreatitis in children

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Purpose of review

Pediatric acute pancreatitis has been on the rise in the last decades, with an incidence close to adult pancreatitis. In the majority of cases acute pancreatitis resolves spontaneously, but in a subset of children the disease progresses to severe acute pancreatitis with attendant morbidity and mortality.

Recent findings

Pediatric acute pancreatitis in this era is recognized as a separate entity from adult acute pancreatitis given that the causes and disease outcomes are different. There are slow but important advances made in understanding the best management for acute pancreatitis in children from medical, interventional, and surgical aspects.


Supportive care with fluids, pain medications, and nutrition remain the mainstay for acute pancreatitis management. For complicated or severe pancreatitis, specialized interventions may be required with endoscopic or drainage procedures. Surgery has an important but limited role in pediatric acute pancreatitis.

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