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Pancreas Anatomy

Anatomy Of Pancreas

  • It is both an exocrine and endocrine gland.
  • The exocrine part will produce pancreatic juice which is released into the duodenum. It helps in digestion.
  • The endocrine part produces 2 important hormones insulin and glucagon.
  • The gland is located in the umbilical, epigastric and left hypochondrial regions.
  • It is retort in shape.
  • It starts from the concavity of the duodenum.
  • It passess from the obliquely upwards and towards the left behind the stomach and reaches the hilum of the spleen.
  • The gland is divided into 4 parts head, neck, body and tail.
  • Head is located within the concavity of duodenum.
  • Behind the head bile duct is present.
  • Neck is a narrow area between head and body.
  • Behind the neck, portal vein is formed.
  • The tail is in contact with the hilum of the spleen.

  • The pancreatic juice which is produced by the exocrine part of pancreas is released into the second part of duodenum through the main pancreatic duct which joins with the bile duct and opens into the second part of the duodenum at major duodenal papilla.
  • Sometimes an accessory pancreatic duct is also present which will open separately at the minor duodenal papilla. Which is present 2cms above the major papilla.
  • Arterial supply : Superior and Inferior pancreatic duodenal arteries.
  • Venous Drainage : Superior mesenteric vein.
  • Lymphatic Drainage : celiac group of lymph nodes.
  • Nerve supply : Vagus nerves.

Microscopic Structure of Pancreas :

  • The gland is covered by a capsule.
  • The capsule will send septa into the interior of the gland dividing it into lobules.
  • The lobules contain serous acini, which are the exocrine parts of pancreas.They produce pancreatic juice.
  • The endocrine component of endocrine part is composed of groups of cell called as islets of langerhands. They are composed of two types of cell, alpha and Beta cells.
  • Alpha cells will produce glucagon which will increase the blood glucose levels.
  • Beta cells will produce insulin which will reduce the blood glucose levels.

Applied Anatomy :

  • Deficiency of insulin levels will increase the blood glucose levels, there by causing a disease called as diabetes mellitus.
  • Inflammation of pancreas is called as pancreatitis. The most common cause is alcohol.


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