Duct of Santorini

Other known aliases accessory pancreatic duct

Definitionportion of the dorsal duct distal to the dorsal-ventral fusion point during embryonic development

Clinical Significance85% of the population have a single, main pancreatic duct and 15% can have an accessory duct that either drains into the duodenum by a separate ampulla (2/3), or drains into the main duct (1/3).  These anatomical variants need to be explored prior to instrumentation for pancreatic pathology as it can occur with pancreas divisum, which makes the accessory duct the principle drainage duct for the pancreas.

HistoryNamed after Giovanni Domenico Santorini (1681-1737), who was an Italian anatomist and son of an apothecary.  He spent his formative years studying medicine throughout Bologna, Padua, and Pisa, where he received his medical doctorate in 1701.   He performed anatomical dissection demonstration in Venice for 23 years, during which he published his most famous work entitled Observationes Anatomicae.  This work was considered one of the most detailed and important anatomical texts of the time and gave way to descriptions of twelve different anatomic eponyms accredited to Santorini.


  • Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  • Bartolucci S, Forbis P.  Stedman’s Medical Eponyms.  2nd ed.  Baltimore, MD; LWW.  2005.
  • Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
  • Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms.
  • http://www.whonamedit.com
  • Up To Date. www.uptodate.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s