NICE has published NICE Guideline (NG) 104 on Pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden and painful condition that is the result of inflammation of the pancreas. The majority of cases are caused by gallstones or alcohol.

Without support, acute pancreatitis—particularly as a result of alcohol abuse—can lead to chronic pancreatitis, a long‑term condition that has a major impact on quality of life and can reduce the endocrine and digestive functions of the pancreas.

Severe cases of pancreatitis can cause serious complications; the overall mortality rate for acute pancreatitis is 5%, and chronic pancreatitis can lead to obstruction of the pancreatic duct, biliary or duodenal obstruction, haemorrhage, ascites, pleural effusion, and significantly increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

The recommendations made by NG104 aim to improve quality of life by ensuring correct treatment and timely provision of information, covering:

  • information and support
  • identifying the causes of acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • nutritional support in acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • managing the complications of acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • referral and follow-up.