Background: The gut is implicated in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis but there is discrepancy between individual studies regarding the prevalence of gut barrier dysfunction in patients with acute pancreatitis. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of gut barrier dysfunction in acute pancreatitis, the effect of different co-variables, and changes in gut barrier function associated with the use of various therapeutic modalities.
Methods: A literature search was performed using PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines. Summary estimates were presented as pooled prevalence of gut barrier dysfunction and the associated 95 per cent c.i.
Results: A total of 44 prospective clinical studies were included in the systematic review, of which 18 studies were subjected to meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of gut barrier dysfunction was 59 (95 per cent c.i. 48 to 70) per cent; the prevalence was not significantly affected by disease severity, timing of assessment after hospital admission or type of test used, but showed a statistically significant association with age. Overall, nine of 13 randomized clinical trials reported a significant improvement in gut barrier function following intervention compared with the control group, but only three of six studies that used standard enteral nutrition reported a statistically significant improvement in gut barrier function after intervention.
Conclusion: Gut barrier dysfunction is present in three of five patients with acute pancreatitis, and the prevalence is affected by patient age but not by disease severity. Clinical studies are needed to evaluate the effect of enteral nutrition on gut function in acute pancreatitis.
© 2014 BJS Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.