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Clin Anat. 2014 May;27(4):645-52. doi: 10.1002/ca.22331. Epub 2013 Nov 8.

Morphological analysis of the branches of the dorsal pancreatic artery and their clinical significance.

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Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Kobe Graduate School of Health Sciences, 7-10-2, Tomogaoka, Suma-ku, Kobe, 654-0142, Japan.


The dorsal pancreatic artery (DP), characterized by a course that crosses behind the proximal part of the splenic vein. It is regarded as clinically important, providing essential distribution to the pancreas. However, the origin of the DP is extremely variable and therefore cannot provide a sufficient basis for identifying it. The DPs of 11 cadavers were investigated in terms of origin, course and distribution. A total of 45 branches of the DP are classified into seven types on the basis of course and distribution. One of these seven types was consistently observed among the specimens: it ran to the right, passed behind the superior mesenteric vein and anterior surface of the posterior part of the head of the pancreas, and then distributed to the uncinate process and the posterior part of the head of the pancreas. Variations in the branching pattern of the DP can be explained from the following perspective: the consistent branch (#5) is the stem of the DP, and other branches originate from it. It is advisable for surgeons to pay attention to this consistent branch of the dorsal pancreatic artery when performing a pancreaticoduodenectomy.


development; gross anatomy; human; pancreas; portal venous system

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