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Computer-assisted three-dimensional reconstruction of the fetal human pancreas was prepared to reconsider topographical relation between the dorsal/ventral anlagen and the vascular supply. Tissue sections from the upper abdominal viscera of three fetuses were examined. Sections were immunohistochemically stained to determine pancreatic polypeptide expression, a marker of the ventral pancreas. The immunohistochemical findings were used to create three-dimensional computer-assisted reconstructions to identify pancreatic arteries. The narrowest part of the pancreas, or the neck, corresponding to a part of the dorsal pancreas, was located on the left side of the common bile duct, portal vein and gastroduodenal artery (GDA). The posterior arterial arcade accompanied the ventral pancreas, whereas the anterior arcade did not. In contrast to the GDA, the splenic artery was clearly separated from the neck in fetuses. The GDA appears to be the primary and stable arterial supply for the neck of the pancreas. This observation may have implications for the preservation of the neck with the GDA during pancreaticoduodenectomy for benign and low-grade malignant diseases.


Hee Chul Yu, Hyo Jong Lee, Zhe Wu Jin, Si Eun Hwang, Jae Do Yang, Hyung Sun Lim, Yan Hui Yang, Gen Murakami, Baik Hwan Cho. Computer-assisted three-dimensional reconstruction of the fetal pancreas including the supplying arteries according to immunohistochemistry of pancreatic polypeptide. Surgical and radiologic anatomy : SRA. 2012 Apr;34(3):229-33

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PMID: 21713410

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