Heterotopic Pancreas in the Gallbladder

Heterotopic Pancreas in the Gallbladder
H & E stain 40x: presence of pancreatic tissue (few ducts and large number of acini with absence of islets), i.e., type II, around the cystic duct.
  • Heterotopic pancreas is an extremely rare finding.
  • It is defined as the congenital presence of pancreatic tissue outside its normal location.
  • The condition has a similar presentation as any other cholecystopathic diseases.

This article describes the case of a 49 year-old male patient who presented to the emergency department with complaint of progressively worsening upper right abdominal pain. The patient described the pain as dull aching in nature with a 24-hour history of vomiting. Doctors diagnosed him with heterotopic pancreas in the gallbladder.

The patient’s medical history revealed that he would often experience mild abdominal pain, especially with fatty meals. This had been going on for the past 6 months. Examination showed that the patient’s heart rate was 85 beats/minute, blood pressure 140.85 mm, temperature 37.4 °C and respiratory rate 16 breaths/minute. Abdominal examination was also significant for localised tenderness in the right upper quadrant and a positive Murphy’s sign.

Laboratory tests showed an increase in WBC count. Other tests including aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotrasnferase and total bilirubin were slightly below normal levels. However, serum electrolytes, creatinine and urea were within normal limits. Doctors advised sonographic examination which showed a thin gallbladder with two stones, measuring 12 and 4 mm impacted in the neck.

Treatment included a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Operative findings included an oedematous gallbladder with an adherent omentum. The dissection around the cystic duct was difficult with only a single stone, measuring 15 mm identidied in the gallbladder specimen. The patient’s recovery period was uneventful and was discharged the next day. The patient remained asymptomatic for the next 6 months.


Heterotopic Pancreas in the Gallbladder: Case Report and Literature Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867455/

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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.


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