Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 958–966 | Cite as

Normal pancreatic volume in adults is influenced by visceral fat, vertebral body width and age

  • Johannes Peter Kipp
  • Søren Schou Olesen
  • Esben Bolvig Mark
  • Lida Changiziyan Frederiksen
  • Asbjørn Mohr Drewes
  • Jens Brøndum FrøkjærEmail author



The aim was to describe the pancreatic volume (PV) in a cohort of subjects with no prior history of pancreatic disease, and to explore the relationship between PV and conventional two-point measurements of the pancreas. Associations between PV, gender, age, abdominal body composition, and human height were explored as well.


CT scans from 204 trauma patients (20–80 years, 100 males) were evaluated. PV was measured with semi-automatic segmentation. Standardized two-point measurements of the pancreas were obtained together with L1 vertebral body size (a proxy for human height) and abdominal body composition. Associations between PV and the other parameters were explored using uni- and multivariate linear regression.


The mean PV was 77.9 ± 21.7(SD) cm3 with an interindividual variability from 18.8 to 139.8 cm3. The transversal diameter of the pancreatic head showed the strongest correlation to PV (r = 0.500, p < 0.001). Age, width of the L1 vertebral body, and visceral fat cross-sectional area were all independently associated with PV (all p < 0.001), while no independent association was seen for gender (p = 0.441).


The pancreatic volume is subject to a large interindividual variability and is associated with age, human height and body composition, while gender had no independent influence on the pancreatic volume. Thus, future studies using PV as an outcome parameter should be evaluated in the context of anthropometric profiles.


Pancreatic volume Segmentation Computed tomography Body composition Age Gender 


Compliance with ethical standards


The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Centre for Pancreatic DiseaseAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Clinical MedicineAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  4. 4.Mech-Sense, Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark
  5. 5.Mech-Sense, Department of RadiologyAalborg University HospitalAalborgDenmark

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