Octreotide in the prevention of pancreatic injury associated with endoscopic cholangiopancreatography

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Data on whether long-acting somatostatin analogue octreotide causes or prevents pancreatic injury following endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) are controversial.


This multicentre, prospective trial studied the effect of octreotide on pancreatic injury in a large unselected group of patients after ERCP and endoscopic sphincterotomy.


The study was carried out in a prospective random manner on 2102 patients in 11 endoscopic centres. Patients in the study received 0.1 mg octreotide acetate and those in the control group received isotonic sodium chloride, subcutaneously before and 45 min after ERCP. Pancreatic injury was assessed by clinical symptoms such as pain, fever and abdominal tenderness. Serum amylase and blood sugar were determined prior to, and 6 and 24 h after the endoscopic procedure.


Data from 599 patients in the study group and 600 in the control group were included in the final evaluation. When all the patients were considered, octreotide did not induce pancreatic injury as assessed by clinical symptoms, and diminished the increase of serum amylase levels following ERCP. However, when subgroups of patients were studied, the frequency of increased amylase levels decreased significantly in patients with chronic obstructive pancreatitis and in patients who underwent endoscopic sphincterotomy (P < 0.01). The peak serum glucose level was higher in the treated group when compared to the controls.


The prophylactic use of long-acting somatostatin does not alter the frequency of post-ERCP pancreatic injury, but it may diminish the rate of increased serum amylase levels in patients with chronic obstructive pancreatitis and also in those with an endoscopic sphincterotomy.

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