Background: The prognosis of acute pancreatitis is mainly dependent on sept
ic complications. Sepsis is characterized by intestinal ischemia, and subse
quent mucosal barrier failure and bacterial translocation. Unfortunately, a
predictor of severe fatal disease does not exist.
Methods and results: Decreased intramucosal pH of the sigma assessed by a n
oninvasive invasive sigmoid catheter postively predicted severe courses of
acute pancreatitis in rats. The reduction of pHi is the consequence of decr
eased mucosal perfusion and can be observed long before failure of the muco
sal barrier, bacterial translocation and sepsis.
Conclusion: As pHi-measurements are simple and noninvasive, clinical evalua
tion should br: performed in humans with acute pancreatitis.