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Pancreas divisum and duodenal diverticula as two causes of acute or chronic pancreatitis that should not be overlooked: a case report.

INTRODUCTION: Pancreas divisum is a congenital anatomical anomaly characterized by the lack of fusion of the ventral and dorsal parts of the pancreas during the eighth week of fetal development. This condition is found in 5% to 14% of the general population. In pancreas divisum, the increased incidence of acute and chronic pancreatitis is caused by inadequate drainage of secretions from the body, tail and part of the pancreatic head through an orifice that is too small. The incidence of diverticula in the second part of the duodenum is found in approximately 20% of the population. Compression of the duodenal diverticula at the end of the common bile duct leads to the formation of biliary lithiasis (a principal cause of acute pancreatitis), pain associated with biliary lithiasis owing to compression of the common bile duct (at times with jaundice), and compression of the last part of Wirsung's duct or the hepatopancreatic ampulla (ampulla of Vater) that may lead to both acute and chronic pancreatitis.

CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the radiological findings of the case of a 75-year-old man with recurrent acute pancreatitis due to a combination of pancreas divisum and duodenal diverticula.

CONCLUSION: Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is advisable in patients with recurrent pancreatitis (both acute and chronic) since it is the most appropriate noninvasive treatment for the study of the pancreatic system (and the eventual presence of pancreas divisum) and the biliary systems (eventual presence of biliary microlithiasis). Moreover, it can lead to the diagnostic suspicion of duodenal diverticula, which can be confirmed through duodenography with X-ray or computed tomography scan with a radio-opaque contrast agent administered orally.

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