Age-related volumetric changes in pancreas: a stereological study on computed tomography

Surg Radiol Anat. 2012 Dec;34(10):935-41. doi: 10.1007/s00276-012-0988-x. Epub 2012 Jun 9.


Purpose: (1) To explore age-related changes in the volume of the pancreas on computed tomography (CT) images calculated by the method of Cavalieri. (2) To investigate the relationship between these changes and body mass index (BMI), gender, abdominal diameter, abdominal skinfold thickness.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed abdominal CT examinations of 272 adults between the ages of 20-88 years. There were seven groups of patients, with 40 patients (only ninth decade has 32 patients) for each decade.

Results: Pancreatic volume (PV) was found to be 63.68 ± 15.08 cm(3) in females, 71.75 ± 15.99 cm(3) in males (mean value of both groups, 67.71 ± 16.03 cm(3)). Maximum value of PV was found in the fourth decade in females, males and also for mean of both groups (73.50, 84.21 and 78.85 cm(3), respectively). PV remained constant until ~60 years of age. Thereafter, it gradually decreased in both genders. There was a negative correlation between PV and age (p < 0.001, r: -0.473). We found positive correlation between PV and BMI, sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), transverse abdominal diameter (TAD), anterior subcutaneous adipose tissue thicknesses (ASAT), posterior subcutaneous adipose tissue thicknesses (PSAT), bilateral subcutaneous adipose tissue thicknesses (BSAT).

Conclusions: Quantitative data may allow clinicians to better estimate age-related PV changes and help them in decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / anatomy & histology
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Pancreas / anatomy & histology*
  • Pancreas / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography, Abdominal / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Subcutaneous Fat / anatomy & histology
  • Subcutaneous Fat / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Young Adult