Congenital anomalies
Heterotopic pancreas

Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Minor changes: 5 March 2020

Copyright: (c) 2002-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Heterotopic pancreas[TI] free full text[sb]

Deepali Jain, M.D.
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Cite this page: Jain D. Heterotopic pancreas. website. Accessed October 20th, 2020.
Definition / general
Case reports
Gross description
  • 0.2 - 3 cm
  • Resembles normal pancreas with firm, yellow, well circumscribed, lobulated nodules
  • May have central umbilication due to a central duct if below a mucosa (can detect radiographically)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Usually in submucosa
  • Almost always acinar cells and ducts; islets present in 1/3
  • May be pyloric type mucous glands
  • 4 histologic types: total (all cell types), ducts only (canalicular), exocrine (acinar) only, islet cells only / endocrine (very rare, Arch Pathol Lab Med 2002;126:464)
  • May have convoluted branching pattern mimicking invasive carcinoma
  • Rarely retains mucus and resembles mucinous carcinoma (Am J Surg Pathol 1994;18:953)
Microscopic (histologic) images


Stomach: purely endocrine

Stomach: heterotopic pancreas tissue in muscular layer contains ducts, acinar cells and a few islets

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Gastroesophageal junction


pancreas / ductal

Meckel diverticulum in Crohn's patient - figure 3

Stomach: purely endocrine

Differential diagnosis
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