Prophylactic antibiotics in acute necrotizing pancreatitis is controversial. The mortality of acute necrotizing pancreatitis is 8-25% in the western world. In view of the limited resources available for managing the complications of infected pancreatitis in developing countries, the use of prophylactic antibiotics may be recommended in selected cases.
Various antibiotics show good penetration into the pancreatic tissue; imipenem and quinolones have better penetration. Clinical trials on the use of prophylactic antibiotics in necrotizing pancreatitis have been reviewed.
Prophylactic antibiotics have been considered if greater than 30% pancreatic necrosis as documented by CT scan. Imipenem can be given for a duration of 10 to 14 days if no systemic complications are present. In a developing country where the cost of managing complications of pancreatitis can be a limiting factor for patients, the use of prophylactic antibiotics early on in the disease in selected cases can be beneficial.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2010). Antibiotics in acute necrotizing pancreatitis: Perspective of a developing country. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 60(2), 121-126.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_surg_gen/22