Q:

What is the mass of the pancreas?

A:

Quick Answer

The size of the pancreas is related to height and weight of individual and vary greatly; an average 6-inch pancreas can range from 41 grams to 174 grams, states SCIRP. Studies quantifying the average sizes of organs found the average weight of the pancreas to be about 87 grams.

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Full Answer

The pancreas, located behind the stomach, is an organ that produces various hormones related to digestion and blood sugar control. An enlarged pancreas can be an indication of acute or chronic pancreatitis pancreatic pseudocysts, or an abscess caused by bacterial infection secondary to a pseudocyst. An enlarged pancreas can also indicate a benign or malignant tumor growth. While an increase in mass of the organ can indicate pathology, a larger than average pancreas can be benign. Diagnostics such as MRI, CT, ultrasound and laboratory analysis of enzyme function can determine the cause of the enlargement.

Inflammation of the pancreas is caused by leaking of enzymes within the organ, creating tissue damage, and can be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly due to certain drugs and infections, gallstones, alcohol or a high amount of fat circulating in the blood. Chronic pancreatitis is typically attributed to heavy alcohol abuse and cystic fibrosis. Pancreatic pseudocysts can form after an episode of pancreatitis and can develop bacterial infections.

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