Medical Management of Chronic Pancreatitis in Children

AJ Freeman et al. JPGN 2021; 72: 324-340. Full text: Medical Management of Chronic Pancreatitis in Children: A Position Paper by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Pancreas Committee

Some of the recommendations:

  • Patients with CP are at risk for macro- and micronutrient deficiencies. Patients should be monitored for growth and pubertal devolvement, dietary intake, and fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies. Growth and dietary intake should be reviewed at every clinic visit, a minimum of every 6 to 12 months. Fat-soluble vitamin laboratory analysis should occur every 12 to 18 months or as clinically indicated. (Grade 1B)
  • There is a clear role for PERT in children with CP who have EPI with steatorrhea, poor growth and/or nutritional deficiencies. PERT dosing for CP associated EPI (see Table 1) is similar to that used in patients with CF. (Grade 1B). EPI screening can be done with stool elastase (Figure 1).
  • Screen yearly with HbA1c level (GRADE 1C). OGTT should be performed annually once a patient is considered to have pre-diabetes. (GRADE 1C)
  • Insufficient data exists to recommend the use of antioxidants as a treatment to prevent EPI or other disease progression in children with CP. (GRADE 2C)
  • There is insufficient data to recommend PERT as therapy for pain in children without EPI. (GRADE 1B); there is insufficient data to recommend antioxidants, steroids, leukotriene antagonists, or somatostatins in the management of pain for children with CP. (GRADE 2C)
  • Recommends advising patients to avoid alcohol abuse and smoking
  • The majority of pancreatic fluid collections will resolve spontaneously with supportive care. Intervention is reserved for complications from mass-effect, infection/necrosis or if spontaneous regression of the collection is thought to be unlikely. (GRADE 1B)

Related blog post: Pediatric Pancreatitis -Working Group Nutritional Recommendations

 An “analgesic ladder” that incorporates the layering of nonopioid and opioid medications –ideally this should be directed by a pain specialist