Pancreatic duct

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Overview

Pancreatic duct
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The pancreatic duct.
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Latin ductus pancreaticus
Gray's subject #251 1202
Precursor Pancreatic bud
MeSH Pancreatic+Ducts

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The pancreatic duct, or duct of Wirsung, is a duct joining the pancreas to the common bile duct to supply pancreatic juices which aid in digestion provided by the "exocrine pancreas". The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct just prior to the ampulla of Vater, after which both ducts perforate the medial side of the second portion of the duodenum at the major duodenal papilla.

The duct of Wirsung is named after its discoverer, German anatomist Johann Georg Wirsung (1589-1643).

Accessory pancreatic duct

Most people have just one pancreatic duct. However, some have an additional "accessory pancreatic duct", called the Duct of Santorini, which connects straight to the duodenum at the minor duodenal papilla. Both these ducts connect to the second part (the vertical one) of the duodenum.

However, the Duct of Santorini, which bypasses the Ampulla of Vater, is non-functional whereas the Duct of Wirsung is functional and carries the digestive enzymes released by the pancreas.

Clinical significance

Compression, obstruction or inflammation of the pancreatic duct may lead to acute pancreatitis. The most common cause for obstruction is choledocholithiasis, or gallstones in the common bile duct.

Additional images


it:Dotto pancreatico

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