Efficacy of somatostatin and its analogues in pancreatic surgery and pancreatic disorders

H. Friess, Markus W. Büchler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Major pancreatic resection is still accompanied by considerable morbidity (35%) and mortality (10%). Typical complications, such as pancreatic fistula and abscess, are chiefly associated with exocrine pancreatic secretion. The hormone somatostatin and its analogue octreotide are well known as potent inhibitors of exocrine pancreatic secretion. In two randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trials we assessed the prophylactic effect of the perioperative inhibition of exocrine pancreatic secretion by octreotide to prevent postoperative complications. Each patient received 3 × 100 μg/day octreotide or placebo subcutaneously. A significant reduction in fistula, abscess, fluid collection, sepsis and postoperative pancreatitis occurred with patients undergoing pancreatic resection for cancer. Results were similar in a second study, using the same protocol but recruiting only patients with chronic pancreatitis. A new randomised, controlled multicentre trial is also described, in which 300 patients with severe acute pancreatitis are being treated with or without octreotide in double-blind fashion. The results will clarify the influence of inhibition of exocrine pancreatic secretion by octreotide on the course of acute pancreatitis, and hence its potential, through inhibition of digestive enzyme secretion, as a treatment for acute pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Exocrine pancreatic secretion
  • Octreotide
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatitis
  • Prophylaxis
  • Somatostatin
  • Surgery


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