Diseases of the pancreas and the spleen

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Christian Toso
Professor
Christian Toso
Head of Division

Functions of the pancreas

The pancreas is located in the middle of the abdomen and behind the digestive organs. The pancreas is a gland that is responsible for various essential functions of the body. In the middle of the organ lays a secretory duct called the duct of Wirsung, which empties pancreatic secretions into the duodenum  at the level of the ampulla of Vater.

The pancreas mainly produces pancreatic juice composed of digestive enzymes used for the digestion of food (exocrine function), which are responsible for breaking down food. These enzymes are amylase (digesting complex sugars), lipase (digesting lipids) and proteolytic enzymes (digesting proteins). In addition, the pancreas consists of small islets of endocrine cells, called islets of Langerhans, which are responsible for producing hormones essential for the regulation of the body, such as insulin , glucagon, somatostatin and pancreatic polypeptide.

Functions of the spleen

Located below the diaphragm on the left side of the abdomen, the spleen is a bean-shaped organ containing cells that participate in the immune system.

Its main functions are the filtration of blood and the destruction of blood cells at the end of their life. This gland also plays a role in the body's defense, especially in protecting against certain types of bacteria.

Duodenum
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The beginning of the intestine
Insulin
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Hormone which regulates the level of sugar in the blood
Last update : 20/07/2021