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01.08.2010 | Commentary | Ausgabe 4/2010

Critical Care 4/2010

Activated protein C in severe acute pancreatitis without sepsis? Not just yet ...

Critical Care > Ausgabe 4/2010
Manu Shankar-Hari, Duncan Wyncoll
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

In the last 5 years DW has contributed to a number of trials of activated protein C in severe sepsis which have been sponsored by Eli Lilly. He has also received honoraria from Eli Lilly (the manufacturers of activated protein C) for speaking at educational meetings.


Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) is characterized by an unregulated systemic proinflammatory response secondary to activation of trypsin within the pancreatic tissue, resulting in multiple organ failure. This dysregulated inflammation leading to organ dysfunction also characterizes severe sepsis. Activated protein C (APC) has pleotropic effects on the immune, coagulation, inflammatory and apoptotic pathways, and has been postulated to benefit acute pancreatitis - although concerns of possible retroperitoneal bleeding remain. Currently, experimental studies and subgroup data on patients with pancreatitis from a randomized controlled trial of APC in severe sepsis form the literature on the possible role of APC in SAP. We review the first randomized controlled trial of APC in acute pancreatitis published in the present issue of Critical Care.

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