The tapered left side extends slightly upward (called the body of the pancreas) and ends near the spleen (called the tail).
The pancreas is made up of two types of tissue:
The exocrine tissue secretes digestive enzymes. These are secreted into a network of ducts that join the main pancreatic duct, which runs the length of the pancreas.
The endocrine tissue, which consists of the islets of Langerhans, secretes hormones into the bloodstream.
The pancreas has digestive and hormonal functions:
The enzymes secreted by the exocrine tissue in the pancreas help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the duodenum.
These enzymes travel down the pancreatic duct into the bile duct in an inactive form.
When they enter the duodenum, they are activated.
The exocrine tissue also secretes bicarbonate to neutralize stomach acid in the duodenum.
The hormones secreted by the endocrine tissue in the pancreas are insulin, glucagon (which regulate the level of glucose in the blood), somatostatin (which prevents the release of the other two hormones), and many others.
What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammatory process in which pancreatic enzymes autodigest the gland
Normally, digestive enzymes do not become active until they reach the small intestine, where they begin digesting food.
But if these enzymes become active inside the pancreas, they start "digesting" the pancreas itself
The gland can sometimes heal without any impairment of function or any morphologic changes.
This process is known as acute pancreatitis.
It can recur intermittently, contributing to the functional and morphologic loss of the gland.
Recurrent attacks are referred to as chronic pancreatitis.
When necrosis involves the parenchyma, accompanied by hemorrhage and dysfunction of the gland, the inflammation evolves into hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis
Pseudocysts and pancreatic abscesses can result from necrotizing pancreatitis because of enzymes being walled off by granulation tissue (ie, pseudocyst formation) or bacterial seeding of pancreatic or peripancreatic tissue (ie, pancreatic abscess formation).
An ultrasound or, preferably, a CT scan can be used detect both....