Whitcomb, David C. Division of Gastroenterology, Heptology, and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Stewart, Andrew F. Divison of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Norris, H. Thomas Department of Clinical Pathology and Diagnostic Medicine, School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.
- Congenital disorders
- Cystic fibrosis
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Pathologies of the pancreas, which are of particular importance because of the many essential functions of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland with three types of cells that serve three different functions. Acinar cells produce digestive enzymes, duct cells produce a bicarbonate-rich fluid, and islet of Langerhans cells produce insulin and other hormones that regulate nutrient-associated metabolism. Disorders occur when normal function is disrupted through germline mutations (mutations within a lineage of cells forming the gametes), acquired mutations (genetic changes limited to somatic cells, not germ cells, and a major cause of cancer), injury, or inflammation. Because the pancreas has different functions, the diseases of the exocrine portion of the pancreas will be separated from the endocrine lesions in this discussion. See also: Pancreas
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