ATHENAIS, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ATHENAIS, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pancreas. Coloured ultrasound scan of a healthy human pancreas (upper centre) along with the abdominal blood vessels (darker circles). The pancreas is located in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach. It is between 15 and 20 centimetres in length. Cells in the pancreas secrete digestive juices and the hormones insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar levels. Ultrasound is a diagnostic technique that sends high-frequency sound waves into the body via a transducer. The returning echoes are recorded and used to build an image of an internal structure. The largest blood vessel in this region is the superior mesenteric artery (SMA), which supplies oxygenated blood to the pancreas and intestines.
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