Treatment with total parenteral nutrition (TPN) alone or combined with continuous intravenous infusion of either somatostatin or calcitonin or glucagon have been carried out upon 45 patients with a high output external pancreatic fistula. No significant difference among these treatment schedules was observed in the percentage of closure of fistulas (85 to 100 per cent of the patients), but patients treated with TPN plus somatostatin had the fistulas close within a significantly (p = 0.000028) shorter period of time. Moreover, this treatment was associated with the strongest inhibition of the output from the fistula (minus 82.3 per cent). Since treatment with somatostatin was not accompanied by any side effect, was followed by a quite rapid closure of the fistulas and allowed an estimated economic savings of about $2,100.00 dollars per patient, it seems to be advisable in the conservative treatment of external pancreatic fistulas.
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