Introduction Acute pancreatitis is a local inflammatory process that leads to a systemic inflammatory response in the majority of cases. Bacterial contamination has been estimated to occur in 30-40% of patients with necrotizing pancreatitis. Development of pancreatic necrosis depends mainly on the degree of inflammation and on the microvascular circulation of the pancreatic tissue. Activated protein C (APC) is known to inhibit coagulation and inflammation, and to promote fibrinolysis in patients with severe sepsis. We investigated the effects of APC on histopathology, bacterial translocation, and systemic inflammation in experimental acute necrotizing pancreatitis.