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Reviewer: Deepali Jain, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 9 July 2014, last major update August 2012
Copyright: (c) 2001-2014, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Forms from embryonic foregut, of endodermal origin (Univ New South Wales (Australia), Wikipedia)
● Pancreas forms from ventral and dorsal buds that rotate and fuse
● Ventral bud (anlage) develops from hepatic duct, forms posterior/inferior head and uncinate process
● Dorsal bud (anlage) develops from foregut and extends into dorsal mesentery; forms body, tail, anterior head
● Fusion of ducts at week 7 creates main pancreatic duct (Wirsung) which extends to papilla of Vater, usually with common bile duct
● Proximal portion of dorsal duct persists as accessory duct of Santorini, empties into minor duodenal papilla
● Usually are numerous anastomotic connections between ducts of Wirsung and Santorini; if not, get pancreas divisum (10% of individuals), in which duct of Santorini is major drainage duct
● Percentage of acinar cells decreases after birth


● In 2/3 of adults, pancreatic duct empties into common bile duct, not into ampulla directly
● Abnormal fusion of ventral and dorsal buds causes annular pancreas or heterotopic pancreas


Various images

Micro images

10 week old fetus

10 week old fetus-dorsal pouch: individual or clustered insulin (A), glucagon (B), pancreatic polypeptide (C) and somatostatin (D) cells stained with specific hormone antibodies in primary tubules or their buds

Electron microscopy images

38/39 week old fetus


End of Pancreas > Embryology

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