OBJECTIVES: A continuous 13-h infusion of gabexate starting 30-90 min before endoscopic cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) can reduce postprocedural pancreatitis, the onset of which is generally observed within the first 6 h after ERCP. This study was designed to verify whether a 6.5-h infusion of gabexate was as effective as a 13-h infusion, at the same concentration, for reducing the incidence of post-ERCP pancreatitis (primary endpoint) and pancreatic hyperenzymemia and pain (secondary endpoints). METHODS: A total of 434 patients (201 male and 233 female; mean age 63.9 yr, range 18-96 yr) scheduled for ERCP were prospectively recruited in 25 Italian centers. Patients were randomized double-blind to two treatment groups. All subjects enrolled were first treated with a 500-mg continuous intravenous infusion of gabexate, starting 30 min before the endoscopic maneuvers and continuing up to 6.5 h after it. Over the next 6.5 h, 214 patients (group I) continued the infusion of gabexate (for a total of 1 g over 13 h) and 220 patients (group II) were given placebo (saline solution). RESULTS: The overall incidence of acute pancreatitis was 1.8% (eight patients), which included 1.4% in group I (three of 214 patients) and 2.2% in group II (five of 220 patients). Serum amylase and lipase values over time, peak levels of the two enzymes, pancreatic pain, and need for analgesics did not significantly differ in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that a 6.5-h infusion of gabexate (for a total of 500 mg) is not less effective than a 13 h infusion, with evident savings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas