Cystic duct

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Cystic duct
Illu liver gallbladder.jpg
Latin ductus cysticus
cystic artery
Gray's p.1198
TA A05.8.02.011
FMA 14539
Anatomical terminology
1. Bile ducts: 2. Intrahepatic bile ducts, 3. Left and right hepatic ducts, 4. Common hepatic duct, 5. Cystic duct, 6. Common bile duct, 7. Ampulla of Vater, 8. Major duodenal papilla
9. Gallbladder, 10–11. Right and left lobes of liver. 12. Spleen.
13. Esophagus. 14. Stomach. Small intestine: 15. Duodenum, 16. Jejunum
17. Pancreas: 18: Accessory pancreatic duct, 19: Pancreatic duct.
20–21: Right and left kidneys (silhouette).
The anterior border of the liver is lifted upwards (brown arrow). Gallbladder with Longitudinal section, pancreas and duodenum with frontal one. Intrahepatic ducts and stomach in transparency.

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[edit]

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, known as biliary colic, 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[edit]

Additional images[edit]


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