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Absent Duct of Santorini

What is Absent Duct of Santorini?

Between the pancreas and the common bile duct is a an anatomical feature called the pancreatic duct. The pancreatic duct is the transport system for pancreatic juices moving from the pancreas and the common bile duct. Some people are born with an anatomical anomaly and have a secondary pancreatic duct that is call the Duct of Santori. It is the most common congenital anomaly of the pancreas and is found in 5% to 10% of the population.

The pancreatic duct allows movement of pancreatic juices between the pancreas and common bile duct. Only some people have an additional accessory pancreatic duct called the Duct of Santorini. Generally the anomaly is asymptomatic but some patients may have an increased risk of developing pancreatitis due to other associated ductal anomalies.

What are the symptoms of Absent Duct of Santorini?

Generally, the patient with Absent Duct of Santorini doesn’t have symptoms. But these patients will face a higher risk of developing pancreatitis due to the abnormal duct.

What causes Absent duct of Santorini?

In utero, the pancreas of the embryo begins in two parts early in the process. Each of these parts has its own duct. During the developmental process the two ducts join together and become the main duct of the pancreas. However, sometimes these ducts fail to fuse and the embryo has two ducts that drain the pancreas. When this happens in embryonic development it is known as Absent Duct of Santorini.

How is Absent Duct of Santorini diagnosed?

Absent Duct of Santorini is diagnosed through ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography), which is able to show presence of two separate pancreatic ducts that are draining. Unfortunately this procedure can cause pancreatitis. Absent Duct of Santorini can also be diagnosed via MRI without risking pancreatitis.

What are the treatments for Absent Duct of Santorini?

Absent Duct of Santorini without symptoms needs no treatment. Surgical intervention is controversial and comes with its own set of risks to the patient. Patients with Absent Duct of Santorini are advised to see out a specialist who deals with pancreatic disease.

Where can I find out more about Absent Duct of Santorini?

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