Protective effects of Salvia miltiorrhizae on the hearts of rats with severe acute pancreatits or obstructive jaundice
BACKGROUND Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a common acute abdomen with high mortality, multiple complications and complicated causes. There is no effective therapy for AP. Radix salviae miltiorrhizae (Danshen), a traditional herbal medicine, has a low price and a wide range of clinical applications. It is effective to promote blood flow, eliminate stagnancy, and relieve pain. It is also found to be effective in treating AP. We reviewed the progress in research into the mechanism of Radix salviae miltiorrhizae in treatment of AP. DATA SOURCES An English-language literature search was conducted using MEDLINE (1988-2005) on Radix salviae miltiorrhizae (Danshen) and acute pancreatitis. RESULTS The mechanisms of Danshen in the treatment of AP include improvement of microcirculatory disturbances; elimination of oxygen free radicals; modulation of the metabolism of lipid inflammatory mediator; and blocking of calcium inflow and prevention of calcium overload. CONCLUSION Danshen can effectively reduce the mortality and complications of AP.