Endothelial dysfunction in patients with severe acute pancreatitis: improved by continuous blood purification therapy

Int J Artif Organs. 2007 May;30(5):393-400. doi: 10.1177/039139880703000506.


Objectives: Endothelium dysfunction is one of the critical pathophysiologic disorders in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). To investigate the effect of continuous blood purification (CBP) on endothelial function, we conducted a prospective study of 20 patients with SAP, 9 of whom had evidence of sepsis.

Methods: All patients underwent CVVH for 72 h. Soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), soluble thrombomodulin, permeability of the endothelial monolayer, and endothelial intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i ) levels were used as the markers for the assessment of endothelial function and the effect of CBP therapy in patients with SAP. Blood samples were taken from the patients at 0, 2, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h during CVVH therapy. sE-selectin and thrombomoduiln were measured by ELISA. The endothelial permeability and activation were evaluated using cultured endothelial monolayer and intracellular Ca2+ concentration.

Results: The results showed that during CVVH treatment, the hemodynamics and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were stable. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score was improved significantly after CVVH. Endothelial dysfunction was evident in patients with SAP as compared to normal controls. Patients with SAP had increased levels of sE-selectin, endothelial permeability and intracellular [Ca2+]i , which was higher in patients with sepsis than in those without sepsis. The level of thrombomodulin showed a tendency to increase; however, these changes were not significant between SAP patients and controls. After CBP treatment, sE-selectin levels substantially decreased in all patients. CBP treatment also significantly diminished the endothelial permeability and decreased the intracellular [Ca2+] concentration.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that endothelial dysfunction is present in patients with SAP and the degree of endothelial damage may be correlated with the disease severity. CBP therapy can not only improve the general conditions, as measured by the APACHE II score, but also effectively improve endothelial dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • E-Selectin / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Hemofiltration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / physiopathology*
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Permeability
  • Thrombomodulin / blood


  • E-Selectin
  • Thrombomodulin
  • Calcium