Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment of acute pancreatitis, with special regard to pharmaceutical therapy]

DÖBRÖNTE Zoltán

FEBRUARY 20, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(02)

[Treatment of acute pancreatitis is mainly supportive, including the correction of any factors causing or sustaining the disease process, efforts to limit complications, as well as treatment of complications. Pharmaceutical efforts to influence the pathophysiological events with protease inhibitors or by influencing the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokine cascade did not prove to be effective, so there is no known effective and specific drug therapy for clinical use. Adequate pain control is an important component of pharmaceutical management, and - although yet controversial - early antibiotic prophylaxis and effective antimicrobial treatment of the inflammatory complications (infected necrosis or fluid collection, SIRS, sepsis) have probably a determining role in the outcome of severe necrotizing pancreatitis. Carbapenems proved to be the most potent antibiotics. For the prevention of the not infrequent fungal superinfection in acute pancreatitis, early administration of fluconasole can also decrease mortality. Surgery is indicated in the first stage of infected necrosis and infected pancreatic and peripancreatic fluid collections. In certain patients with a high operative risk, endoscopic or percutaneous drainage with lavage can also be worth trying. Optimal conditions for the treatment of severe necrotizing pancreatitis, as well as adequate management of multiple organ failure can only be warranted at an intensive care unit. In the chemoprevention of pancreatitis complicating endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs promise a new therapeutic option. There are insufficient data about the beneficial effects of the protease inhibitor ulinastatin, and results with nitroglycerin are contradictory.]

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