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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Agenesis of the dorsal pancreas

Other Names for this Disease
  • Complete agenesis of the dorsal pancreas
  • Congenital short pancreas
  • Pancreas agenesis, dorsal
  • Pancreas, dorsal, agenesis of
  • Partial agenesis of the dorsal pancreas
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How might agenesis of the dorsal pancreas be treated?

Because agenesis of the dorsal pancreas is considered rare and few cases have been reported in the literature, there is limited information about how the condition as a whole might be treated or managed. However, there is current information about how some of the signs and symptoms associated with agenesis of the dorsal pancreas (such as pancreatitis) may be managed.

For pancreatitis, individuals may be able to make themselves more comfortable during an attack, but they will most likely continue to have attacks until treatment is received for the underlying cause of the symptoms (when possible). If symptoms are mild, people might try the following preventive measures: stopping all alcohol consumption; adopting a liquid diet consisting of foods such as broth, gelatin, and soups (these simple foods may allow the inflammation process to get better); over-the-counter pain medications; and avoiding pain medications that can affect the liver (such as acetaminophen). Medical treatment is usually focused on relieving symptoms and preventing further aggravation to the pancreas. Certain complications of either acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis may require surgery or a blood transfusion. In acute pancreatitis, the choice of treatment is based on the severity of the attack. Most people who are having an attack of acute pancreatitis are admitted to the hospital for oxygen (if having trouble breathing) and an intravenous (IV) line for medications and fluids. If needed, medications for pain and nausea may be prescribed. It may be recommended that no food or liquid is taken by mouth for a few days (this is called bowel rest). Some people may need a nasogastric (NG) tube to remove stomach juices which rests the intestine further, helping the pancreas recover. If the attack lasts longer than a few days, nutritional supplements may be administered through an IV line. In chronic pancreatitis, treatment focuses on relieving pain and avoiding further aggravation to the pancreas.[1]

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) management may depend on the exact cause if the condition in the affected individual. Management may include checking blood sugar levels with a blood glucose meter; checking urine for ketones; and adopting strategies to lower blood sugar level. Strategies might include exercise (only if urine ketones are not present); diet as discussed with a diabetes health educator or registered dietitian; and/or medication (especially if diet and exercise are not keeping blood sugar levels in the normal range) which may include insulin and/or other medications.[2]

Individuals seeking treatment options for themselves or others should speak with their health care provider about an individualized treatment plan; the information here is provided for general educational purposes only.
Last updated: 7/25/2011

  1. Pancreatitis. eMedicineHealth. 2011; Accessed 7/22/2011.
  2. Robert Ferry, Jr. High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia). eMedicineHealth. 2011; Accessed 7/25/2011.