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Definition Return to top
An annular pancreas is a ring of pancreatic tissue that encircles the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine, just below the stomach).
Causes Return to top
Annular pancreas is caused by malformation during the development of the pancreas, before birth. This condition may result in a narrowing of the duodenum due to squeezing by the ring of pancreas.
Complete obstruction of the duodenum is often seen in newborns with this condition. However, half of cases are not diagnosed until symptoms occur in adulthood. There are probably many cases that go undetected due to mild symptoms.
People with this condition are more like to have a peptic ulcer.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Signs that may indicate annular pancreas include:
Treatment Return to top
Surgical bypass of the blocked part of the duodenum is the usual treatment for this disorder.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The outcome is usually good with surgery.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you or your child have any symptoms of annular pancreas.
References Return to top
Russo MA, Redel CA. Anatomy, histology, embryology, and developmental anomalies of the stomach and duodeum. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006: chap 45.Update Date: 11/17/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; 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.