Somatostatin was first suggested for the treatment of acute pancreatitis more than 15 years ago but despite many studies, its role in the management of this condition remains unclear. The experimental and clinical studies are reviewed and the physiological actions of somatostatin, which may influence the course of acute pancreatitis are examined. It is concluded that although some reports suggest a trend towards improved survival and lessened complication rate with somatostatin treatment, insufficient evidence of benefit exists to support the use of somatostatin or its analogue in the treatment or prophylaxis against acute pancreatitis in routine clinical practice.
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