In vivo Octreotide Administration Acutely Reduces Exocrine Granule Size in the Human Pancreas

Massimo Falconi, Erminia Caldiron, Carlo Zancanaro, Donatella Benati, Giorgio Talamini, Claudio Bassi, Paolo Pederzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Octreotide has been found to be effective in the prevention of postoperative complications of pancreatic surgery, but the benefit of preoperative octreotide administration has not been assessed. Aims: To evaluate the ability of octreotide in reducing the amount of digestive enzymes in the pancreas before surgery, a morphometric ultrastructural study of the gland was undertaken in patients undergoing demolitive pancreatic surgery. Methods:Twenty-three inpatients received saline (n = 8) or octreotide (100 μg s.c.) before surgery either once (n = 5), or three (n = 5) or six (n = 5) times at 8-hour intervals. At surgery, biopsies of the pancreas were taken and processed for electron microscopy. Several parameters were assessed in exocrine cells by means of ultrastructural morphometry. Results: A single administration of octreotide significantly reduced the exocrine granule number and the mean and total granular surface sectional area, and the ratio between granule area and cytoplasmic area. Repeated octreotide administrations were associated with partial (3 administrations) and complete (6 administrations) recovery of all parameters to control values. Conclusion: Preoperative administration of octreotide, the synthetic analogue of somatostatin, acutely reduces exocrine granule number and size in the pancreatic cell. This finding can partially explain the prophylactic effect of the drug on early complications of pancreatic surgery. Such an effect is not maintained over multiple administrations of the somatostatin analogue. Possible explanations for this latter finding are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Complications
  • Electron microscopy
  • Exocrine gland
  • Morphometry
  • Somatostatin
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo Octreotide Administration Acutely Reduces Exocrine Granule Size in the Human Pancreas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this