• The pancreas has been hemisected revealing a delicate
tan lobular cut surface
• A thin pancreatic duct (arrows) runs centrally through the pancreas
|General Gross Description|
•The normal pancreas in the adult is approximately 15
cms long and weighs about 100 grams.
•It is composed of a head, a body and a tail.
•Grossly, it is a pink/tan organ which is divided into
grossly visible lobules.
•It is normally surrounded by a mass of adipose tissue.
|General Micro Description|
•Microscopically, it composed of 2 types of tissue, the
exocrine and the endocrine pancreas.
•The exocrine tissue is composed of numerous glands or
acini that are spherical collections of pyramidal cells.
•Each of these cells has a basally situated, round
nucleus and abundant strongly basophilic cytoplasm.
•The tips of the cells project into a central lumen.
•The lumen is drained by fine ducts which unite to give
rise to the main pancreatic duct.
•The ducts of the pancreas are lined by cuboidal cells
for some of the smaller ducts and by taller, more
columnar cells for some of the larger ducts.
•The endocrine pancreas is composed of approximately 1
million Islets of Langerhans, each approximately 100 to
200 microns in diameter.
•The Islets of Langerhans are approximately equally
distributed throughout the substance of the exocrine
•The endocrine pancreas is surrounded by a network of
•Each endocrine islet is composed of numerous cell
types of which the beta cells are the most abundant.
•Beta cells secrete insulin.
•Alpha cells secrete glycogen.
•Other relatively more minor cell populations are delta cells, PP cells, D1 and D2 cells and enterochromaffin cells.
•Gray H. Gray^s Anatomy, 15th Edition. New York: Barnes & Noble,
Books, 1995, pp. 916 et seq. pp 929
•Fawcett DW. Bloom and Fawcett a textbook of histology. 12th ed. New York: Chapman & Hall, 1994, pp. 689