Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of patients with acute pancreatitis in which enteral nutrition supplemented with glutamine, arginine, omega-3 fatty acids or nucleotides alone or in combination (immunonutrition) was compared with enteral feeding with no supplementation (standard enteral nutrition). Outcomes of interest were total infectious complications, in-hospital mortality and length of hospital stay.
In the immunonutrition groups, supplemented nutrients were omega-3 fatty acids alone, glutamine and arginine, or all three substances combined. Patients who received omega-3 fatty acids alone mostly had mild pancreatitis; those who received combination supplements were mostly suffering from severe pancreatitis. Enteral feeding was initiated either within 24 hours of admission or 72 hours from onset; duration of nutrition ranged from five days to over 17 days.
Inclusion criteria were applied independently by two authors.