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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus IV: Organ Systems: ancreatic Ducts

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus IV: Organ Systems

Pancreatic Ducts

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Pancreatic duct system in which dorsal and ventral pancreatic ducts have fused to form the combined pancreatic duct (Wirsung) and the accessory pancreatic duct (Santorini) entering the duodenum at the minor papilla


Pancreatic duct system showing the "ansa pancreatica" formed by the proximal part of the accessory duct, the inferior branch of the dorsal duct, and the inferior branch of the ventral duct


Pancreatic duct system showing obliteration of the accessory duct at its entrance into the duodenum


Pancreatic duct system showing obliteration of the accessory duct at its entrance into Wirsung's duct


Type I. The bile duct and the duct of Wirsung join together in the duodenal wall to form the hepatopancreatic duct and open through it into the duodenum


Type II. The two ducts are separated throughout their extent by a septum and open separately at the summit of the major duodenal papilla

G, H

Type III. The whole pancreas is drained by the duct of Santorini. The duct of Wirsung is either reduced to a fibrous cord or is absent

In the present series of 100 specimens, 63 belonged to Type I, 30 to Type II, and 7 to Type III. In one case classifed as type II the duct of Santorini was larger than the duct of Wirsung. In 63 cases belonging to Type I, the hepatopancreatic duct varied in length from 1 mm to 14.5 mm.


hepato-pancreatic duct


bile duct


duodenal muscle


duct of Santorini


duct of Wirsung


mucous membrane

Redrawn (A-D) from Dawson, W. and J. Langman. An anotomical-radiological study on the pancreatic duct pattern in man. Anat. Rec. 139:59-68, 1961; and (E-H) from Singh, I. Observations on the mode of termination aof the bile and pancreatic ducts: Anatomical factors in pancreatitis. J. Anat. Soc. India. 5:54-60,1956.

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