pancreas


pancreas

Compound gland functioning as both an exocrine (secreting through a duct) and an endocrine (ductless) gland. It continuously secretes pancreatic juice (containing water, bicarbonate, and enzymes needed to digest carbohydrates, fat, and protein) through the pancreatic duct to the duodenum. Scattered among the enzyme-producing cells are the islets of Langerhans, which secrete insulin and glucagon directly into the bloodstream. Disorders include inflammation (pancreatitis), infections, tumours, and cysts. If more than 80–90% of the pancreas must be removed, the patient will need to take insulin and pancreatic extracts. See also diabetes mellitus; hypoglycemia.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on pancreas, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up pancreas? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More