An annular pancreas is a ring of pancreatic tissue that encircles the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Normally, the pancreas sits next to, but does not surround the duodenum.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Annular pancreas is a congenital defect, which means it is present at birth. Symptoms occur when the ring of pancreas squeezes and narrows the small intestine so that food cannot pass easily or at all.
Newborns may have symptoms of complete blockage of the intestine. However, up to half of people with this condition do not have symptoms until adulthood. There are also cases that are not detected because the symptoms are mild.
Conditions that may be associated with annular pancreas include:
* Down syndrome
* Other congenital gastrointestinal problems
* Excessive amniotic fluid during pregnancy (polyhydramnios)
Pictures & Images
The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.
Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).
Annular pancreas is an abnormal ring or collar of pancreatic tissue that encircles the duodenum (the part of the small intestine that connects to stomach). This portion of pancreas can constrict the duodenum and block or impair the flow of food to the rest of the intestines. Symptoms from annular pancreas are nausea, vomiting, feeling of fullness after eating, and feeding problems in newborns. Surgical bypass of the obstructing segment of the duodenum is the usual treatment for this disorder.
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.