Common bile duct
|Common bile duct|
Diagram of the biliary tree showing the common bile duct
The common bile duct, sometimes abbreviated CBD, is a duct in the gastrointestinal tract of organisms that have a gall bladder. It is formed by the union of the common hepatic duct and the cystic duct (from the gall bladder). 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.
When the sphincter of Oddi is closed, newly synthesized bile from the liver is forced into storage in the gall bladder. 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 gall bladder, and relaxation of the Sphincter of Oddi.
Several problems can arise within the common bile duct. A diameter of more than 8 mm is regarded as abnormal dilatation, and is a sign of cholestasis. 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. 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
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