Vascular anatomy of the pancreas and clinical applications

  • Kenji IbukuroEmail author
Review Article


The development of recent technology, especially the helical computed tomography (CT) scan, allows us to observe small peripancreatic vessels which previously could be demonstrated only by angiography (1), and therefore make three-dimensional (3-D) volume rendered CT angiographic reconstruction possible (2). The neighboring structures as well as the pancreatic vessels are clearly visualized on the axial CT scan. Therefore, it is necessary to define the peripancreatic vessels on the axial images, as well as on angiography to make an accurate diagnosis of pancreatic disease so that we can also estimate the dynamic flow of the peripancreatic vessels.

In this chapter, I would like to use the cadaver dissections of pancreatic vessels to explain each pancreatic vessel based on previous anatomic and radiologic references and finally demonstrate the clinical cases in terms of the pancreatic vessels.

The pancreatic arteries and veins are explained based on the anatomic and radiologic references. Principal pancreatic vessels are demonstrated on cadaver dissection. The pancreas head is supplied by the anterior and posterior pancreaticoduodenal arteries forming arcades in the pancreaticoduodenal sulcus and is drained by the pancreaticoduodenal veins. The pancreas body and tail are supplied by the dorsal, inferior, and caudate pancreatic arteries, and are drained by the inferior and left pancreatic veins.

Clinical applications in terms of the pancreatic vessels such as basis for interpretation of the angiography and the CT scan, treatment of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, detection of small insulinoma are stated.

Key Words

Pancreas angiography computed tomography (CT) pancreaticoduodenal arcade gastrocolic trunk pancreatitis pancreatic cancer median arcuate ligament compression cadaver dissection 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMitsui Memorial HospitalTokyoJapan

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