Extrahepatic bile ducts
Anatomy of extrahepatic bile ducts

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 20 September 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Anatomy[TIAB] extrahepatic bile ducts[TIAB]

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Anatomy of extrahepatic bile ducts. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/gallbladderanatomyextrahepatic.html. Accessed January 21st, 2020.
Right and left hepatic ducts:
  • 3 - 4 mm in diameter, within hepatoduodenal ligament, join to form common hepatic duct in porta hepatis (hilum of liver) within 1 cm of their exit from liver
  • 10 - 30% have variation of 2 right sided ducts that join separately with left hepatic duct, common hepatic duct or cystic duct

Common hepatic duct:
  • 2 - 8 mm, 1 - 5 cm long, joins cystic duct (1 - 3 cm long) to form common bile duct

Common bile duct:
  • 2 - 9 cm long, passes posterior to first portion of duodenum, traverses the head of pancreas, enters the second part of duodenum through the ampulla of Vater and discharges gallbladder contents into duodenal lumen
  • 60% have common channel for pancreatic duct and common bile duct
  • Remainder have 2 ducts in parallel

Cystic duct:
  • Attaches gallbladder to extrahepatic bile duct, marks division between common hepatic duct and common bile duct
  • Usually 2 - 4 cm
  • Contains spiral valves of Heister

Sacculi of Beale:
  • Tiny pits that are infoldings of surface epithelium and give mucosa a reticular macroscopic appearance

Spiral valves of Heister:
  • Folds in proximal mucosa of cystic duct, supported by underlying smooth muscle fibers
  • Regulates degree of gallbladder distension

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