Background: To observe outcome in a cohort of patients with severe acute pancreatitis receiving multiple anti-oxidant therapy.
Methods: An observational study was carried out in 46 consecutive patients with acute pancreatitis fulfilling current Atlanta consensus criteria for severe disease. All patients received multiple anti-oxidant therapy based on intravenous selenium, N-acetylcysteine and ascorbic acid plus beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol delivered via nasogastric tube. Principal outcomes were the effect of anti-oxidant supplementation on anti-oxidant levels, morbidity and mortality in patients on anti-oxidant therapy, case-control analysis of observed survival compared to predicted survival derived from logistic organ dysfunction score (LODS), logistic regression analysis of factors influencing outcome and side effect profile of anti-oxidant therapy.
Results: Paired baseline and post-supplementation data were available for 25 patients and revealed that anti-oxidant supplementation restored vitamin C (P = 0.003) and selenium (P = 0.028) toward normal. In univariate survival analysis, patient survival to discharge was best predicted by admission APACHE-II score with relative risk of death increasing 12.6% for each unit increase (95% CI 6.0% to 19.6%). The mean LODS calculated on admission to hospital was 3.7 (standard error of the mean 4.1) giving a predicted mortality for the cohort of 21%. The observed in-hospital mortality was 43%.
Conclusions: Case-control analyses do not appear to demonstrate any benefit from the multiple anti-oxidant combination of selenium, N-acetylcysteine and ascorbic acid in severe acute pancreatitis.