Bile duct


Bile duct

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Caption = Digestive system diagram showing the bile duct



Caption2 = An intraoperative cholangiogram, which is an X-Ray of the bile ducts during a laprascopic cholecystectomy
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A bile duct is any of a number of long tube-like structures that carry bile.

Bile, required for the digestion of food, is excreted by the liver into passages that carry bile toward the hepatic duct, which joins with the cystic duct (carrying bile to and from the gallbladder) to form the common bile duct, which opens into the intestine.

The biliary tree (see below) is the whole network of various sized ducts branching through the liver.

The path is as follows: Bile canaliculi Canals of Hering interlobular bile ducts intrahepatic bile ducts left and right hepatic ducts "merge to form" common hepatic duct "exits liver and joins" cystic duct (from gall bladder) "forming" common bile duct "joins with" pancreatic duct "forming" ampulla of Vater "enters" duodenum

Common bile duct

The top half of the common bile duct is associated with the liver, while the bottom half of the common bile duct is associated with the pancreas, through which it passes on its way to the intestine. It opens in the part of the intestine called the duodenum into a structure called the ampulla of Vater.

Pathology

Blockage of the bile duct by a cancer, gallstones, or scarring from injury prevents the bile from being transported to the intestine and the active ingredient in the bile (bilirubin) instead accumulates in the blood. This condition is called jaundice and the skin and eyes become yellow from the bilirubin in the blood. This condition also causes severe itchiness from the bilirubin deposited in the tissues. In certain types of jaundice, the urine will be noticeably darker, and the stools will be much paler than usual. This is caused by the bilirubin all going to the bloodstream and being filtered into the urine by the kidneys, instead of some being lost in the stools through the ampulla of Vater.

Jaundice is commonly caused by conditions such as pancreatic cancer, which causes blockage of the bile duct passing through the cancerous portion of the pancreas; cholangiocarcinoma, cancer of the bile ducts; blockage by a stone in patients with gallstones; and from scarring after injury to the bile duct during gallbladder removal.


=Additional

External links

* [http://cholangiocarcinoma.org/ The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation]
* [http://pathology2.jhu.edu/gbbd/ The Johns Hopkins Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer Web page]
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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bile duct — n a duct by which bile passes from the liver or gallbladder to the duodenum * * * any of the ducts that convey bile from the liver. Bile is drained from the liver cells by many small ducts that unite to form the main bile duct of the liver, the… …   Medical dictionary

  • bile duct — bile′ duct n. anat. a common duct that transports bile from the liver and gall bladder to the small intestine • Etymology: 1765–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • bile duct — ► NOUN ▪ the tube which conveys bile from the liver and the gall bladder to the duodenum …   English terms dictionary

  • bile duct — noun a duct formed by the hepatic and cystic ducts; opens into the duodenum • Syn: ↑common bile duct • Hypernyms: ↑duct, ↑epithelial duct, ↑canal, ↑channel • Part Holonyms: ↑liver …   Useful english dictionary

  • bile duct — any of the ducts that convey bile from the liver. Bile is drained from the liver cells by many small ducts into the right and left hepatic ducts, which unite to form the main bile duct of the liver, the common hepatic duct. This joins the cystic… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • bile duct — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms bile duct : singular bile duct plural bile ducts medical a tube in the body that carries bile from your liver and your gall bladder to your small intestine …   English dictionary

  • bile duct — Anat. a large duct that transports bile from the liver to the duodenum, having in humans and many other vertebrates a side branch to a gallbladder for bile storage. [1765 75] * * * …   Universalium

  • bile duct — noun Date: 1774 a duct by which bile passes from the liver or gallbladder to the duodenum …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bile duct — noun the duct which conveys bile from the liver and the gall bladder to the duodenum …   English new terms dictionary

  • bile-duct — n. Biliary duct, hepatic duct …   New dictionary of synonyms


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