Gallbladder & extrahepatic bile ducts
Histology-extrahepatic bile ducts

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Minor changes: 29 June 2020

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Normal histology extrahepatic bile ducts[TIAB]

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Histology-extrahepatic bile ducts. website. Accessed August 10th, 2020.
  • May want to submit entire specimen
  • Submit margins separately, including hepatic margin (if liver tissue present)
Surface epithelium:
  • Composed of tall, uniform, columnar cells
  • Mucosa forms irregular pleats or small longitudinal folds

Peribiliary mucous glands:
  • Considered a local progenitor cell niche in extrahepatic biliary epithelium (Liver Int 2012;32:554)
  • Unevenly distributed within large intrahepatic ducts and all extrahepatic bile ducts
  • Lobular architecture; are surrounded by fibroconnective tissue (important in differentiating from well differentiated carcinoma)

Subepithelial region:
  • Dense, hypocellular connective tissue, few lymphocytes
  • Overlies loose connective tissue with elastic fibers and smooth muscle fibers that are most prominent distally but absent or sparse proximally

Muscle layer:
  • Not well defined until distal common bile duct / lower 1/3 of extrahepatic bile duct (Am J Surg Pathol 2000;24:660)
  • Upper 1/3 has no muscle layer or scattered muscle fibers
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Positive stains
  • Peribiliary glands: amylase, trypsin, lipase
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