Common bile duct
The common bile duct, sometimes abbreviated CBD, is a duct in the gastrointestinal tract of organisms that have a gallbladder. It is formed by the union of the common hepatic duct and the cystic duct (from the gallbladder). It is later joined by the pancreatic duct to form the ampulla of Vater. There, the two ducts are surrounded by the muscular sphincter of Oddi.
|Common bile duct|
Diagram of the biliary tree showing the common bile duct
|Part of||Biliary tract|
When the sphincter of Oddi is closed, newly synthesized bile from the liver is forced into storage in the gallbladder. When open, the stored and concentrated bile exits into the duodenum. This conduction of bile is the main function of the common bile duct. The hormone cholecystokinin, when stimulated by a fatty meal, promotes bile secretion by increased production of hepatic bile, contraction of the gallbladder, and relaxation of the sphincter of Oddi.
|Normal||≤ 8 mm|
|Mild dilatation||8 – 12 mm|
|Moderate dilatation||12 – 16 mm|
|Severe dilatation||16 – 20 mm|
|Extremely severe dilatation||>20 mm|
On abdominal ultrasonography, the common bile duct is generally seen most readily in the perihilar area (the border area between the common hepatic duct and the CBD, by the hilum of the liver). The absence of Doppler signal distinguishes it from the portal vein and hepatic artery.
If clogged by a gallstone, a condition called choledocholithiasis can result. In this clogged state, the duct is especially vulnerable to an infection called ascending cholangitis. One form of treatment is a Cholecystenterostomy. Very rare deformities of the common bile duct are cystic dilations (4 cm), choledochoceles (cystic dilation of the ampula of Vater (3–8 cm)), and biliary atresia.
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- Anatomy figure: 38:06-08 at Human Anatomy Online, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "The gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts."
- Anatomy image:8336 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center
- Anatomy image:7957 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center
- liver at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (biliarysystem)