[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 1990

Anaphylatoxins and Terminal Complement Complexes in Pancreatitis: Evidence of Complement Activation in Plasma and Ascites Fluid of Patients With Acute Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Roxvall and Heideman) and Anaesthesiology (Dr Bengtson), Sahlgrens Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(7):918-921. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410190116019

• Complement activation has been proposed as a mediator of remote complications of acute pancreatitis. Thirty-seven patients with acute pancreatitis were studied with respect to the formation of anaphylatoxins (C3a/C3adesArg, C5a/C5adesArg) and terminal complement complexes (TCC) in plasma and ascites fluid. The patients were classified according to Ranson's criteria. Eighteen patients with moderate or severe pancreatitis had higher maximum plasma C3a/C3adesArg and TCC concentrations than 19 patients with mild pancreatitis. During convalescence, the concentrations had returned to normal. High concentrations of C5a/C5adesArg and TCC were also found in ascites and pancreatic cyst fluid, drawn from patients with moderate or severe pancreatitis. As the terminal complement pathway activation is involved in reactive lysis and anaphylatoxins increase vascular permeability, anemia and impaired respiration in these patients may be influenced by complement activation.

(Arch Surg 1990;125:918-921)