The effect of somatostatin and its analogs in the prevention of pancreatic fistula after elective pancreatic surgery
BACKGROUND: The prophylactic use of somatostatin and its analogs has been suggested to lower the rate of pancreatic fistula. The aim of this review is to discuss the results of published randomized trials and meta-analyses studying the effect of somatostatin and its analogs. METHODS: We performed a Medline search for prospective randomized trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses with regard to the prophylactic use of somatostatin and its analogs. RESULTS: Eleven randomized trials and six meta-analyses were identified. The randomized trials differ in terms of study designs, diagnosis, operative procedures, drug dosage, time of administration, and the pancreatic fistula definition; therefore, it is advisable to carefully interpret the results of the individual randomized trials. CONCLUSIONS: The routine administration of somatostatin and its analogs in elective pancreatic surgery cannot be recommended. However, selective administration is advisable in cases which carry significantly higher risk of developing pancreatic fistula.