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pancreas

Pronunciation: pan'kre-as, pan-kre-a'ta

Definition: An elongated lobulated retroperitoneal gland, devoid of a distinct capsule, extending from the concavity of the duodenum to the spleen; it consists of a flattened head within the duodenal concavity, a neck connecting the head and body, an elongated three-sided body extending transversely across the abdomen, and a tail in contact with the spleen. The gland secretes from its exocrine part pancreatic juice that is discharged into the intestine, and from its endocrine part the internal secretions insulin and glucagon.

[G. pankreas, the sweetbread, fr. pas (pan), all, + kreas, flesh]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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