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July 1, 1974

Nasogastric Suction in the Treatment of Alcoholic Pancreatitis: A Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

From the Medical and Research Services, Wadsworth Veterans Administration Hospital Center, and the Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1974;229(1):51-52. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230390027018

Twenty-nine patients with mild to moderately severe acute alcoholic pancreatitis were randomly allocated to treatment with or without nasogastric suction. Antibiotics, anticholinergics, and antacids were not used. No significant differences were found between the two groups in duration of the following: abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, nausea, narcotic requirement, fever, and elevated serum and urine amylase levels. The data suggested that even though a larger proportion of patients treated with suction became pain-free within the first two days of treatment, treatment without suction was associated with earlier return of normal bowel sounds and smaller risk of prolonged hyperamylasemia. Because nasogastric suction provided no clear-cut advantages in this admittedly small group, it might be considered elective rather than mandatory in the treatment of mild to moderately severe acute alcoholic pancreatitis.

(JAMA 229:51-52, 1974)