The clinical diagnostics and therapeutic standards applied in the routine management of human acute pancreatitis are based on the results of animal experiments and human studies performed in the past several decades. During this time period, a number of experimental acute pancreatitis models have been developed, which allowed us to study the etiopathogenesis of acute pancreatitis, analyzing the local and remote complications of the inflammatory processes and also the preclinical testing of potentially effective drugs and agents. Only animal models are suitable to examine the very early phase of the pathogenetic processes in acute pancreatitis. In recent years, the progress in molecular genetic methods allowed us to create genetically engineered animal models to clarify the role of different mediators in the pathogenetic process. There is no doubt that the results gained from experimental animal studies are of limited value concerning human pancreatitis. Nevertheless, experimental studies seem to be indispensable in the progress of management of human pancreatic disorders.
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