Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 967–975 | Cite as

Distribution and correlation of pancreatic gland size and duct diameters on MRCP in patients without evidence of pancreatic disease

  • Qiushi Wang
  • Jordan Swensson
  • Maoqing Hu
  • Enming Cui
  • Temel Tirkes
  • Samuel G. Jennings
  • Fatih AkisikEmail author



To use MRCP to investigate age-related changes and gender differences of the pancreas and to correlate pancreatic gland size and duct diameter.


In this institutional review, board-approved, HIPAA-compliant study, 280 patients (age 20–88 years) without a history of pancreatic or liver disease who had undergone MRI/MRCP from 2004 to 2015 were identified. The anteroposterior size and main duct diameter of the pancreatic head, body, and tail were measured. The pancreatic gland and duct sizes were compared between genders, and among seven age subgroups (20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, 80–89).


The pancreatic head and body were significantly larger in males than females (head, p < 0.01; body, p = 0.03), while the tail and the duct diameters of the pancreatic head, body, and tail showed no gender difference. As the age of male participants increased, there was an associated increase in size of the pancreatic gland initially (largest at age 50–59 (body) and 60–69 (head)), followed by subsequent decline in size thereafter. Additionally, the pancreatic duct diameter was found to increase gradually. In females, the size of the pancreatic gland decreased, while the diameter of the pancreatic duct increased with age. Moderate positive correlation for gland size and strong positive correlation for duct diameter among different pancreatic regions were found. Weak negative correlation was found between gland size and duct diameter.


There are gender differences in the gland size of the pancreatic head and body. The pancreatic gland size increases until the sixth decade in males, with a more continuous decrease in gland size with age in females. Both males and females demonstrate a marked decrease in gland size after the eighth decade. The duct diameter increases with age in both males and females.


Magnetic resonance imaging MR cholangiopancreatography Pancreatic gland Main pancreatic duct 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiushi Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jordan Swensson
    • 2
  • Maoqing Hu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Enming Cui
    • 2
    • 3
  • Temel Tirkes
    • 2
  • Samuel G. Jennings
    • 2
  • Fatih Akisik
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Guangdong General HospitalGuangdong Academy of Medical SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Radiology and Imaging SciencesIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyJiangmen Central HospitalJiangmenChina

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