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A Case of Acute Pancreatitis



Author:

David F. Dean
Department of Biology
Spring Hill College
ddean@shc.edu

Abstract:

The pancreas is the source of the bulk of digestive enzymes that act upon the contents of the small intestine. The normal function of the pancreas can be studied in the context of acute pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease with a sudden onset. In this directed case, students read about a person suffering from acute pancreatitis, including a brief description of the patient's history and symptoms, then answer a set of directed questions designed to probe their understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the disorder. The case is appropriate for any college-level course in human physiology.

Objectives:
  • Understand the anatomic location and functions of the pancreas.
  • Understand the means by which hormones are used to control the secretion of bile and pancreatic juice.
  • Understand the rationale for the secretion of proteases in an inactive state and the means by which they are activated in the lumen of the small intestine.
  • Understand the various causes and symptoms of acute pancreatitis and the means by which the condition is treated.
  • Understand what is mean by "referred pain."
Keywords: Pancreas; acute pancreatitis; pancreatic enzymes; digestion; digestive enzymes; exocrine pancreas; referred pain
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed, Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Physiology   Biology (General)   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 1/4/2012
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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