Whitcomb, David C. Division of Gastroenterology, Heptology, and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Stewart, Andrew F. Division 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.
Last reviewed:July 2018
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- Congenital disorders
- Cystic fibrosis
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Pathologies of the pancreas. The pancreas (Fig. 1) is affected by a variety of congenital and acquired diseases. These diseases can have grave consequences because 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 of the pancreas is disrupted through germline mutations [mutations within a lineage of cells forming the gametes (sex or germ cells)], acquired mutations [genetic changes limited to somatic (body) cells, and a major cause of cancer], injury, or inflammation. See also: Enzyme; Gland; Hormone; Inflammation; Insulin; Metabolism; Mutation; Pancreas
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