Acute Pancreatitis: New Developments and Strategies for the Hospitalist

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Acute pancreatitis (AP) remains the most common reason for hospital admission of all the gastrointestinal illnesses in the United States. Since the last narrative review in the Journal of Hospital Medicine in 2010, new developments in regard to diagnosis and classification, fluid resuscitation, antibiotic use, nutritional support, and management of complications have helped refine the approach and improve outcomes in this disease. Whereas there is still no proven pharmacologic therapy to specifically combat the inflammatory consequences of AP, recent interventions have led to increased survival, shorter length of stay, and more appropriate transfer criteria for pancreatitis patients. This case-oriented review will highlight these developments and emphasize the primary role of the hospitalist in managing AP over the course of the admission. It will focus on when to coordinate with subspecialists, how to deliver effective yet efficient hospitalized care, and how to optimize appropriate discharge planning.

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