The effect of somatostatin on the gastrointestinal tract is complex; it inhibits the release of gastrointestinal hormones, the exocrine function of the stomach, pancreas and bile, decreases motility and influences absorption as well. Based on these diverse effects there was an increased expectation towards the success of somatostatin therapy in various gastrointestinal disorders. The preconditions for somatostatin treatment was created by the development of long acting somatostatin analogues (octreotide, lanreotide). During the last twenty-five years large trials clarified the role of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases. This study summarizes shortly these results. Somatostatin analogue treatment could be effective in various pathological conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, however, this therapeutic modality became a part of the clinical routine only in neuroendocrine tumours and adjuvant treatment of oesophageal variceal bleeding and pancreatic fistulas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas