Medical Reports & Case Studies

ISSN - 2572-5130

Pancreas Divisum

The human embryo starts life with a pancreas that is in two parts, each with its own duct; the ventral duct, and the dorsal duct. The two parts of the pancreas fuse during development. In most embryos, the dorsal and the ventral ducts also will fuse to form one main pancreatic duct. The main pancreatic duct will join the common bile duct (the duct that drains bile from the gallbladder and the liver) to form common bile and pancreatic duct which drains into the duodenum through the major papilla. In some embryos, the dorsal and the ventral ducts fail to fuse. Failure of the ventral and the dorsal pancreatic ducts to fuse is called pancreas divisum (because the pancreas is drained by two ducts). In pancreas divisum, the ventral duct drains into the major papilla, while the dorsal duct drains into a separate minor papilla. Most individuals born with pancreas divisum experience no symptoms throughout life will remain undiagnosed, and will not require treatment. A small number of patients with pancreas divisum will experience repeated episodes of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause abdominal pain as well as more severe complications. Some patients with pancreas divisum may develop chronic abdominal pain without pancreatitis.

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