Proinflammatory Cytokines in Alcohol or Gallstone Induced Acute Pancreatitis. A Prospective Study

Objectives If differences of inflammatory pathways in acute pancreatitis exist for various etiologies, selective and specific antiinflammatory and other modulatory treatment regimens might be indicated. Circulating levels of prominent proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, 8, 18, and TNF-alpha were measured in patients having their first attack of either alcohol- or gallstone-induced acute pancreatitis. Methods Seventy-five consecutive patients were prospectively included over a 15-month period, sixty of them being either alcohol- or gallstone-induced. All patients were treated according to a standardized algorithm. Blood samples were obtained immediately on admission and, again, at days 1, 2, and 14. Results A significant effect of the etiology on the levels of IL-8 in the alcohol group as compared to the gallstone group (P=0.003) was found. No etiologic differences were observed for IL-6, IL-18, TNF-alpha, or CRP. Furthermore, no significant differences, either regarding the need for treatment at the intensive care unit or of 30-day mortality, were found. Conclusion The present study confirms previous findings and supports the hypothesis that, except for IL-8, the biochemical profile and clinical outcome is independent of the underlying etiology. Revealing the complex spatial and temporal profile of proinflammatory cytokine expression in acute pancreatitis is necessary and important for the development of a more targeted rational therapy.


Srdan Novovic, Anders Møller Andersen, Annette Kjær Ersbøll, Ole Haagen Nielsen, Lars Nannestad Jorgensen, Mark Berner Hansen

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