Dictionary   FastHealth  Email This!

 


pan·cre·as

npl  -cre*as*es  also  -cre*ata   :  a large lobulated gland that in humans lies in front of the upper lumbar vertebrae and behind the stomach and is somewhat hammer-shaped and firmly attached anteriorly to the curve of the duodenum with which it communicates through one or more pancreatic ducts and that consists of (1) tubular acini secreting digestive enzymes which pass to the intestine and function in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; (2) modified acinar cells that form islets of Langerhans between the tubules and secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon; and (3) a firm connective-tissue capsule that extends supportive strands into the organ .
 
   

 
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.  © 1997-2004.







               



               



Rangely District Hospital (Rangely, Colorado - Rio Blanco County)