Prophylactic effect of somatostatin on post-ERCP pancreatitis: a randomized controlled trial

Gastrointest Endosc. 1999 May;49(5):593-8. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(99)70387-1.


Background: Somatostatin is a potent inhibitor of pancreatic secretion and has been studied for its prophylactic effect on post-ERCP pancreatitis. However, results of previous trials have been inconclusive.

Methods: A prospective double-blind controlled study was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of somatostatin in preventing post-ERCP pancreatitis. Post-ERCP enzyme elevation, abdominal pain and pancreatitis were evaluated and compared between 109 patients randomized to receive somatostatin infusion and 111 patients randomized to receive normal saline infusion (placebo); both started 30 minutes before ERCP and continued for 12 hours.

Results: Post-ERCP elevation of serum amylase and lipase levels at 6 and 24 hours after ERCP was less frequent in the group given somatostatin but not statistically significant. There was a tendency toward lower mean serum amylase and lipase levels at 24 hours in patients given somatostatin, although the difference was not statistically significant either. Eight patients given somatostatin (7%) and 18 patients given placebo (16%) had significant abdominal pain after ERCP requiring analgesia (p = 0.04). The frequency of clinical pancreatitis was significantly lower in patients given somatostatin (3%) than in those given placebo (10%) (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Prophylactic treatment with somatostatin reduced the frequency of post-ERCP pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / adverse effects*
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde / statistics & numerical data
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis / etiology
  • Pancreatitis / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Somatostatin / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Somatostatin