The mortality rate in acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis remains high despite all therapeutic measures and much experimental work. Theoretically it would seem that any measure tending to suppress the activity of the pancreas would aid in the management of this disease. Reid and Kossa8 have shown that thiourea and its analogues owe their antithyroid action, in part at least, to their antioxidant property in all organs and tissues. As a consequence, there is a decrease in the amount of energy released, less product formed, and the organ placed at rest. Propylthiouracil appears to be the most active in lowering the metabolic activity in the various organs, and particularly in the pancreas.
In a preliminary report, we11 have shown that propylthiouracil given both preoperatively and also after the onset of pancreatitis, is effective in lowering mortality rate by slowing pancreatic activity. In an analogous study, using hypothermia to suppress pancreatic
THOMPSON BW, LIPIN RJ, CLARK RL. Propylthiouracil in Acute Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis. Arch Surg. 1964;88(6):966-968. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310240062012