What is pancreas divisum?
Pancreas divisum is the most common congenital anomaly of the pancreas, occurring in up to 15% of patients. It results from failure of the dorsal and ventral pancreatic anlagen of the ductal systems to fully fuse during development. The duct in the pancreatic body and tail (derived from the dorsal pancreatic anlage) drains into the duodenum through the accessory duct (of Santorini) and minor duodenal papilla, whereas the separate, more posteriorly and inferiorly located duct in the pancreatic head and uncinate process (derived from the ventral pancreatic anlage) joins the distal common bile duct and drains into the duodenum through the major duodenal papilla (of Vater). Some investigators believe that this anomaly may be associated with an increased incidence of recurrent idiopathic pancreatitis, although others believe that the association is incidental.