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Uncinate process of pancreas

The uncinate process is a small part of the pancreas. The uncinate process is the formed prolongation of the angle of junction of the lower and left lateral borders in the head of the pancreas. The word "uncinate" comes from the Latin "uncinatus", meaning "hooked".[1]

Uncinate process of pancreas
Illu pancreas duodenum.jpg
Details
Arterysuperior mesenteric artery
Identifiers
LatinProcessus uncinatus pancreatis
TAA05.9.01.003
FMA15857
Anatomical terminology

Contents

StructureEdit

DevelopmentEdit

The pancreas arises as 2 separate bodies, the dorsal pancreas and the ventral pancreas. The dorsal pancreas appears first, at around day 26, opposite the developing hepatic duct, and grows into the dorsal mesentery. The ventral pancreas develops at the junction of the hepatic duct and the rest of the foregut.

During development, differential growth of the wall of the stomach causes it to rotate to the left, and the liver and stomach undergo a lot of growth. This makes the two parts of the pancreas rotate around the duodenum. They then fuse; the dorsal pancreatic bud becomes the body, tail, and isthmus of the pancreas (the isthmus of the pancreas is the thin layer of parenchyma between the head and the body of the pancreas[2]) and the ventral pancreatic bud forms the pancreatic head and uncinate process. The glands continue to develop but the duct systems anastomose. The main pancreatic duct is formed by the fusion of the dorsal and ventral pancreas.

The embryology also explains the strange zig-zag course of the main pancreatic duct and the occasional appearance of an accessory pancreatic duct.

The uncinate process, unlike the remainder of the organ, passes posteriorly to the superior mesenteric vein (it can pass posteriorly to the superior mesenteric artery, but this is less common).

Clinical significanceEdit

Sometimes the pancreas fails to develop normally and there may be congenital defects associated with the uncinate process. The uncinate process may split and encircle the duodenum, which is known as an annular pancreas.[3] There is also a common condition called pancreas divisum where the dorsal and ventral pancreas do not fuse properly.

ReferencesEdit

This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1200 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/glossary/glossary.cgi?page=u
  2. ^ Knoop, M; Weinhold, M; Becker, A (2015). "Missing pancreatic isthmus during pancreaticoduodenectomy". Journal of Surgical Case Reports. 2015 (3): rjv009. doi:10.1093/jscr/rjv009. PMC 4345290. PMID 25733670.
  3. ^ Drake et al, Gray's Anatomy for Students, Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier (2010), 2nd edition, chapter 4

External linksEdit