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BACKGROUND: Acute pancreatitis is a severe condition that requires early identification of patients at risk of developing potentially lethal complications. Current clinical scoring systems and biochemical parameters are insufficient. In this study, we aimed to assess whether early plasma Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) is associated with adverse outcomes in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). STUDY DESIGN: This analysis is a substudy of the PROPATRIA trial (probiotics vs placebo in patients with predicted SAP). The Ang-2 levels were measured prospectively in plasma in the first 5 days after admission in 115 patients. RESULTS: Early Ang-2 levels were higher in patients who developed SAP: 6.4 vs 3.1 μg/L (p < 0.001) and also were higher in patients who developed multiorgan failure in the first week (p = 0.001) and after the first week (p = 0.049). Furthermore, high Ang-2 levels were associated with infectious complications in the first week (p < 0.001) and after the first week (p < 0.001). Finally, plasma Ang-2 was significantly higher in patients who died (p < 0.001) and in patients who developed bowel ischemia (p < 0.001). As a predictor of adverse outcomes, plasma Ang-2 was superior to a number of current scores, such as the APACHE II score, the Imrie score, C-reactive protein, lipopolysaccharide binding protein, and procalcitonin. CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of this randomized controlled trial, early plasma Ang-2 was found to be an accurate predictor of SAP, multiorgan failure, and infectious complications. As a biomarker, it did outperform all of the investigated conventional predictors that are currently used in clinical practice.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Coll Surg

Publication Date





26 - 32


Ang-2, Angiopoietin-2, IL, IQR, LBP, MOF, NPV, PPV, PROPATRIA study, ROC, SAP, interleukin, interquartile range, lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, multiorgan failure, negative predictive value, positive predictive value, probiotics vs placebo in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis study, receiver-operator curves, severe acute pancreatitis, Acute Disease, Aged, Angiopoietin-2, Bacterial Infections, Biomarkers, Case-Control Studies, Decision Support Techniques, Double-Blind Method, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Multiple Organ Failure, Pancreatitis, Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing, Predictive Value of Tests, Probiotics, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, ROC Curve, Severity of Illness Index