Goal and Background: One of the most important cytokines in pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis is tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. The aim of our study was to determine whether the plasma levels of TNF-α in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) on admission correlate with severity and outcome of SAP.
Study: Blood samples were obtained from 100 patients with SAP. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to severity: SAP group (n=69) and SAP-induced multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) group (n=31). Survivors were patients who were alive 90 days after taking the blood sample for cytokine measurement (53/100). Blood sample for cytokine measurement was drawn immediately after admission. TNF-α was measured by commercial ELISA test in plasma.
Results: When comparing SAP group with SAP-induced MODS group, we found that mean values of TNF-α on admission were 191.5-fold lower in group with SAP-induced MODS (P<0.01). When comparing nonsurvivors with survivors, we found that mean values of TNF-α on admission were 63-fold higher in survivors (P<0.01). At cut-off level of 7.95 pg/mL sensitivity was 83.9% and specificity was 72.5%. Patients with TNF-α level lower than 7.95 pg/mL had 3.2-fold higher probability to develop SAP with MODS. At cut-off level of 10.5 pg/mL sensitivity was 83% and specificity was 77.4%. Patients with TNF-α level higher than 10.5 pg/mL had 4.8-fold higher probability to survive.
Conclusions: TNF-α is good predictor of severity and outcome. Low TNF-α concentration in patients with SAP predicts development of MODS and fatal outcome.