Aim: To study the frequency and significance of pancreas divisum.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of all pancreatograms carried out between July 1989 and June 1994.
Results: The 809 pancreatograms performed included 207 in patients with pancreatitis (acute 74, chronic 133), 330 with biliary disease, 238 with obscure abdominal pain and 34 with pancreatic malignancy. Of these, 30 patients (3.7%) were diagnosed to have pancreas divisum - 26 had type I variant, one had type II variant and three had type III variant. Accessory papillary cannulation was attempted in 10 patients; 8 were successful, with dorsal ductography confirming pancreas divisum in all of them. Two of these 8 patients had changes of chronic pancreatitis in the dorsal duct. The frequency of pancreas divisum in patients with pancreatitis (19 of 207, 9.2%) was significantly higher than in patients with biliary diseases and those with obscure abdominal pain (11 of 568, 1.9%; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Pancreas divisum is not an uncommon condition in India and its frequency in patients with idiopathic pancreatitis is higher than that in patients with other abdominal conditions. It should be looked for in any case of idiopathic pancreatitis.