Background: Many patients with severe acute pancreatitis develop organ system failure during the first few days of illness, and this accounts for the majority of early deaths. No specific therapy is available and treatment remains supportive.
Methods: In a randomized controlled trial conducted in 11 hospitals in the West of Scotland, 50 patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis were selected from 188 screened over a 14-month period. Patients received placebo or lexipafant, a potent platelet-activating factor antagonist, by continuous intravenous infusion at a dose of 100 mg/day for up to 7 days. Early systemic complications were assessed by the measurement of organ failure scores.
Results: There was a significantly greater fall in organ failure score in the treatment group during the 7 days of study (mean and median changes in organ failure score were 0.17 and 0 in the placebo group versus -1.42 and -1 in the treatment group; P = 0.003, Wilcoxon rank sum test), associated with trends towards a reduction in mortality and a reduced incidence of systemic complications.
Conclusion: These results suggest that lexipafant may be a useful adjunct to full supportive care in the early management of patients with severe acute pancreatitis.