Accessory pancreas (patient information)

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Jinhui Wu, M.D.; Mohammed Sbeih, M.D.

Overview

Accessory pancreas was first described by Klob in 1859. It is a very rare condition in which small groups of pancreatic cells are separate from the pancreas. They may occur in the mesentery of the small intestine, the wall of the duodenum, the upper part of the jejunum, or more rarely, in the wall of the stomach, ileum, gallbladder or spleen. The cause is not very clear. It is thought to be related to abnormal embryo development. Some patients with accessory pancreas may not show any symptom or sign. Some patients are revealed by other diseases or examination. Usual symptoms and signs include low-grade fever, weakness and fatigue, pain in the upper abdomen or epigastric area, itching, nausea and vomiting, or jaundice. Ther is no specific test for accessory pancreas. Laboratory analyses of blood, urine, stool, and pancreatic fluid, and abdominal imaging studies may help diagnose. Surgical of removal of accessory pancreas is the main treatment. The prognosis of accessory pancreas depends on whether secondary pathologic changes take place or not. If any carcinomatous change on accessory pancreas, outcome of patient is poor.

What causes accessory pancreas?

The cause is not very clear. It is thought to be related to abnormal embryo development.

what are the symptoms of accessory pancreas?

Some patients with accessory pancreas may not show any symptom or sign. The disorder is revealed by other diseases such as diabetic, disorder of biliary tract or duodenum, or abdominal trauma or surgery, or examination. Other patients may have symptoms as the following:

Other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Only a doctor can tell for sure. A person with any of these symptoms should tell the doctor so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Who is at risk for accessory pancreas?

Studies suggest that this disorder is related to abnormal embryo development.

Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose pancreatic disorders include laboratory analyses of blood, urine, stool, and pancreatic fluid, and imaging studies.

  • Blood tests: Specific blood studies are used to assess pancreatic function, including measurements of serum amylase, lipase, glucose, calcium, and triglyceride levels.
  • Urine test: Urine amylase detect may also be useful for the diagnosis of accessory pancreas.
  • Stool tests: Stool specimens may be analyzed for fat content. This may demonstrate pancreatic function.
  • Pancreatic fluid secretin stimulation test: The secretin stimulation test measures the bicarbonate concentration of pancreatic fluid after secretin is given intravenously to stimulate the production of pancreatic fluid.
  • Abodominal CT or MRI and biopsy: CT scans and MRI are often used to diagnose accessory pancreas. They can demonstrate the location and configuration of accessory pancreas, and show the organs nearby. These are helpful for determining determining whether surgery is a good treatment option. CT scans can also be used to guide biopsy and a biopsy sample is usually removed and looked at under a microscope. It is very important and valuable for diagnosis of accessory pancreas.
  • Upper Gastrointestinal(GI) Endoscopy and biopsy: Sometimes the accessory pancreas locates in stomach or duodenum, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy may help find the focus. If abnormal areas are noted, biopsy can be obtained through the endoscopsy. The tissue samples will be checked by the pathologist under a microscope to detect whether pancreas tissue is present or not.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if symptoms of accessory pancreas develop. If you experience either of the following symptoms, seeking urgent medical care as soon as possible:

Treatment options

Surgical of removal of accessory pancreas is the main treatment.

Diseases with similar symptoms

Where to find medical care for accessory pancreas?

Directions to Hospitals Treating accessory pancreas

Prevention

The preventive measurements are unknown for accessory pancreas.

What to expect (Outook/Prognosis)?

The prognosis of accessory pancreas depends on whether secondary pathologic changes take place or not. If any carcinomatous change on accessory pancreas, outcome of patient is poor.

Possible complications

If any carcinomatous change on accessory pancreas, outcome of patient is poor.

Sources

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/a/accessory_pancreas/intro.htm

http://www.viswiki.com/en/Accessory_pancreas




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