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Pancreas. 2012 May;41(4):582-8. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e318239d233.

Clinicopathologic assessment of pancreatic ductal carcinoma located at the head of the pancreas, in relation to embryonic development.

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  • 1Department of Surgery II, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.



Pancreaticoduodenectomy is performed for pancreatic head cancer that originated from the dorsal or ventral primordium. Although the extent of lymph node (LN) dissection is the same irrespective of the origin, the lymphatic continuities may differ between the 2 primordia.


Between March 2003 and September 2010, 152 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer. One hundred six patients were assigned into 2 groups according to tumor location on preoperative computed tomography, and their clinical and pathological features were retrospectively analyzed in view of the embryonic development of the pancreas.


Sixty of 106 patients were classified with tumors that were derived from the dorsal pancreas (D group) and 46 from the ventral pancreas (V group). The frequency of LN involvement around the middle colic artery (LN 15) in the D group was higher than in the V group (P = 0.008). The rate of additional resection of the pancreas tended to be higher in the D group (P = 0.067).


The present study showed the detailed pattern of spread of pancreatic ductal carcinoma to the LNs and provided important information for determining the optimal surgical strategy.

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