Interleukin 18 as an early marker or prognostic factor in acute pancreatitis
OBJECTIVE Our aim was to prospectively compare the behavior of interleukin 18 (IL-18) levels and other immunological parameters during the first week of hospitalization between acute pancreatitis patients with and without severity criteria, as well as between patients with and without late pseudocyst development. PATIENTS AND METHODS In 36 patients with acute pancreatis we compared sTNF-RI, IL-1Ra, IL-6, and IL-18 levels at days 1, 2, 3 and 7 after hospitalization between mild pancreatitis, severe pancreatitis, and a "control" group (13 patients) with uncomplicated biliary colic, as well as between patients with and without pseudocyst. RESULTS On comparing mild to severe pancreatitis, IL-18 was significantly higher only the first day in severe pancreatitis, while the other parameters were steadily higher after the second day. In patients developing pseudocyst, IL-18 was also noticeably higher the first day. CONCLUSIONS IL-18 appears to be the earliest marker of complications and severity in acute pancreatitis at both the systemic and local level (pseudocyst).