Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 745–753 | Cite as

Visualization of the fat planes between the pancreas and the adjacent organs and blood vessels using multi-detector computed tomography

  • A. Djuric-StefanovicEmail author
  • N. Gordanic
  • D. Saponjski
  • K. Koljensic
  • J. Djokic-Kovac
  • S. Knezevic
Original Article



To explore individual variations in visibility of the fat planes between the pancreatic parenchyma and adjacent organs and blood vessels using the multi-detector-computed tomography (MDCT).


Abdominal contrast-enhanced MDCT examinations of 520 consecutive adult individuals were retrospectively analysed by exploring the presence of visible fat planes between the healthy pancreas and the following surrounding structures: stomach, descending duodenum (D2), splenic, portal, superior mesenteric vein (SV, PV, SMV), inferior vena cava (IVC), and coeliac trunk, common hepatic and superior mesenteric artery (CT, HA and SMA). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (rS) was used to assess the correlation of individual gender, age, body mass and BMI, and visible fat planes towards particular surrounding structures.


Fat planes between the pancreatic parenchyma and surrounding structures was visible as follows: stomach in 76%, D2 11.7%, SV 51.5%, PV 0%, SMV 28.8%, IVC 80.8%, CT 99.4%, HA 90.4% and SMA in 100% participants. The presence of visible fat planes significantly correlated (p < 0.001) with body mass for stomach (rS = 0.367), D2 (rS = 0.247), SV (rS = 0.355), SMV (rS = 0.384) and IVC (rS = 0.259); BMI for stomach (rS = 0.292), SV (rS = 0.248), SMV (rS = 0.290) and IVC (rS = 0.216); age for D2 (rS = 0.363), SV (rS = 0.276) and SMV (rS = 0.409); and male gender for stomach (rS = 0.160) and SV (rS = 0.198).


Fat planes around the pancreatic parenchyma in the MDCT scan was almost always visible towards the adjacent magistral visceral arteries and IVC, always invisible towards the PV, and variably visible towards the SV, SMV, stomach and duodenum depending on the individual body mass, BMI, age and gender.


Pancreas Anatomy Fat planes Multi-detector computed tomography Cross-sectional imaging 


Author contributions

AD-S: project and protocol development, data collection, data analysis and manuscript writing. NG: data collection and manuscript writing. DS: data collection. KK: data management. JD-K: project development and manuscript editing. SK: project development and manuscript editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This was a retrospective study and formal consent was not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit of Digestive Radiology (First Surgery University Clinic), Center of Radiology and MRClinical Center of SerbiaBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.First Surgery University Clinic, Clinical Center of SerbiaBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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