Pancreatic duct and its opening
This specimen shows the duct system of the Pancreas.
The Pancreas is a soft, lobulated and elongated digestive gland, located in the center of the abdomen. Four parts, namely, the head, the neck, the body and the tail can be recognized. It consists of both the exocrine and the endocrine parts. The exocrine part secretes enzymes required for the digestion of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins and the endocrine part secretes hormones such as Insulin and Glucagon. The exocrine part drains into multiple small lobular ducts. The large ducts are arranged as single main and a single accessory duct. This arrangement reflects the embryological development of the pancreas. The Major pancreatic duct and the Accessory pancreatic duct is highlighted in this specimen.
Major pancreatic duct:
The major (main) pancreatic duct, also known as, the duct of Wirsung, runs within the substance of the gland from the left to the right. It lies more towards the posterior surface than the anterior surface and is formed by the union of several lobular (secondary) ducts in the tail. It increases in calibre as it runs within the body because it receives numerous lobular ducts which join it almost at right angles to its long axis, forming a ‚ÄòHerring-bone pattern'. This duct enters the wall of the 2nd part of duodenum, unites with the common bile duct to form the hepatopancreatic ampulla that opens at the summit of the major duodenal papilla.
Accessory pancreatic duct:
The accessory pancreatic duct, also known as, the duct of Santorini, drains the upper part of the anterior portion of the head of pancreas. Much smaller in calibre than the main duct, it is formed within the substance of the head of the pancreas from several lobular ducts and ascends anterior to the main duct. This duct enters the wall of the 2nd part of duodenum, opens onto a small rounded minor duodenal papilla, which lies about 2cm above and anterior to the major duodenal papilla.