A prospective study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of somatostatin in the treatment of acute pancreatitis. Seventy one patients were randomised to control (h = 36), or to the somatostatin group (h = 35) who received somatostatin 100 micrograms/h after a 250 microgram bolus for the first two days. The following were compared in the two groups on admission and two days later: laboratory tests of prognostic significance, severity of pancreatitis, and also morbidity and mortality. Of the nine laboratory tests compared, the white blood cell count, lactate dehydrogenase, and urea concentrations were significantly lower in the somatostatin group two days after admission. Severity of pancreatitis after hospitalisation increased in fewer patients given somatostatin (NS). There was a trend toward fewer complications, especially local, in the somatostatin group. Mortality in both groups was low. Somatostatin appeared to reduce the local complications of acute pancreatitis. A larger trial is necessary to show its beneficial effect conclusively.
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