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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Review article: the relative effectiveness of somatostatin and octreotide therapy in pancreatic disease.

Somatostatin and octreotide inhibit basal and stimulated pancreatic secretion, stimulate reticuloendothelial system activity, modulate the cytokine cascade and are cytoprotective with respect to the pancreas. These effects of somatostatin and octreotide suggest that both drugs may be useful either in the treatment of pancreatic disorders, or in preventing acute pancreatitis following procedures on the pancreas. In recent years it has become clear that somatostatin is a useful and effective therapy for severe acute pancreatitis and in preventing complications following endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), whereas octreotide has no beneficial effect and may be deleterious in both these indications. The differences in the therapeutic efficacy of somatostatin and octreotide in acute pancreatitis and ERCP appears to be related to their differential effects on sphincter of Oddi motility--the native hormone relaxing, and the analogue increasing, its contractility. Consequently, any beneficial effects of octreotide in both acute pancreatitis and ERCP are offset by the increased contractility of the sphincter of Oddi, which results in retention of activated enzymes within the pancreas and further autodigestion of the gland. Somatostatin and octreotide are equally effective in promoting the closure of pancreatic fistulae. However, the time to closure after commencement of therapy is much more variable and longer in patients treated with subcutaneous octreotide than those receiving intravenous somatostatin, possibly as a result of fluctuations in pancreatic enzyme secretion between consecutive administrations of the hormone. Furthermore, the initial potent inhibitory effect of octreotide on pancreatic secretion is lost after 7 days of continuous subcutaneous administration. Therefore, in terms of cost-effectiveness, somatostatin would appear to be the treatment of choice for pancreatic fistulae. Octreotide markedly reduces the complication rates after elective pancreatic surgery. It remains to be established whether somatostatin is as effective as octreotide in this indication.[1]


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