May 3, 1965

Low-Molecular-Weight Dextran Therapy in Experimental Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

JAMA. 1965;192(5):398-400. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080180056014

Recent reports have suggested that low-viscosity colloids may be of value in the treatment of pancreatitis.1 Dextran preparation with an average molecular weight of 40,000 has been shown to improve flow through areas where circulation has become impaired, and thus minimize cellular aggregation associated with reduced flow and maintain viability of tissues.2

In pancreatitis vascular injury ranges from a mild alteration of permeability in pancreatic edema to a necrotizing vasculitis in pancreatic necrosis. In the animal used for experimental purposes pancreatic edema evoked by an intraductal injection of trypsin can be converted to necrotizing pancreatitis by partial interruption of venous drainage from the pancreas.3 This finding suggests that progression from a simple pancreatic edema to pancreatic necrosis depends, at least in part, upon the adequacy of flow in the local circulation. Accordingly, agents which improve flow through vessels involved by stasis should prevent this transition from an

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