|1: Right lobe of liver
2: Left lobe of liver
3: Quadrate lobe of liver
4: Round ligament of liver
5: Falciform ligament
6: Caudate lobe of liver
7: Inferior vena cava
8: Common bile duct
9: Hepatic artery
10: Portal vein
11: Cystic duct
12: Hepatic duct
|Gray's||subject #250 1198|
The cystic duct is the short duct that joins the gallbladder to the common bile duct. It usually lies next to the cystic artery. It is of variable length. It contains 'spiral valves of Heister,' which do not provide much resistance to the flow of bile.
Bile can flow in both directions between the gallbladder and the common hepatic duct and the (common) bile duct.
In this way, bile is stored in the gallbladder in between meal times. The hormone cholecystokinin, when stimulated by a fatty meal, promotes bile secretion by increased production of hepatic bile, contraction of the gall bladder, and relaxation of the Sphincter of Oddi.
Clinical significance 
Gallstones can enter and obstruct the cystic duct, preventing the flow of bile. The increased pressure in the gallbladder leads to swelling and pain. This pain is sometimes referred to as a gallbladder "attack" because of its sudden onset.
During a cholecystectomy, the cystic duct is clipped two or three times and a cut is made between the clips, freeing the gallbladder to be taken out.
See also 
Additional images 
- cystic+duct at eMedicine Dictionary
- SUNY Figs 38:06-03 - "The gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts."
- SUNY Labs 38:14-0106 - "Stomach, Spleen and Liver: The Gallbladder and the Bile System"
- liver at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (liverinferior, biliarysystem)
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