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Pancreatology. 2009;9(5):687-93. doi: 10.1159/000199438. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Do the effects of pentoxifylline on the inflammatory process and pancreatic infection justify its use in acute pancreatitis?

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Severe acute pancreatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. At the present time, no specific therapy has been shown to be uniformly effective in reducing morbidity and mortality in this disease. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of pentoxifylline on the pancreatic and systemic inflammatory process, pancreatic infection, and mortality rate in severe acute pancreatitis in rats.


One hundred and twenty male Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: sham, pancreatitis, and pentoxifylline (acute pancreatitis induction plus administration of 25 mg/kg pentoxifylline). Inflammatory response was measured by histological studies, inflammatory cytokine production (IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-alpha), and mortality rate. Pancreatic infection was evaluated by bacterial cultures expressed in colony-forming units per gram.


Pentoxifylline-treated animals had a statistically significant reduction of inflammatory cytokine levels, pancreatic histological damage, occurrence of bacterial translocation and pancreatic infection (p < 0.05), associated with a significant reduction in mortality rate.


Pentoxifylline administration in this experimental model of acute pancreatitis reduces local and systemic inflammatory responses and decreases the pancreatic infection and the mortality rate.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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