Objectives Animal studies have demonstrated a role for substance P binding to neurokinin-1 receptor in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis. Our aim was to assess the efficacy of a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist (aprepitant) at preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis in high risk patients. Design Randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial at a single academic medical center. Intervention Patients at high risk for post-ERCP pancreatitis received either placebo or oral aprepitant administered 4 hours prior to ERCP, 80 mg 24 hours after the first dose, and then 80 mg 24 hours after the second dose. Patients Thirty-four patients received aprepitant and 39 patients received placebo. Statistics Fisher’s exact test was used to compare incidence of post-ERCP pancreatitis in the two groups. Results Baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups. Incidence of acute pancreatitis was 7 in the aprepitant group and 7 in the placebo group. Hospitalization within 7 days post-procedure for abdominal pain that did not meet criteria for acute pancreatitis occurred in 6 and 9 patients in the aprepitant and placebo groups respectively (P=0.772). Conclusions Aprepitant did not lower incidence of post-ERCP pancreatitis in this preliminary human study. Larger studies potentially using the recently available intravenous formulation are necessary to conclusively clarify the efficacy of aprepitant in this setting.
Tilak Upendra Shah, Rodger Liddle, M Stanley Branch, Paul Jowell, Jorge Obando, Martin Poleski