Biliary tree

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


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Digestive system diagram showing the common bile duct

The biliary tree is the common anatomic term for the path by which bile is secreted by the liver on its way to the duodenum, or small intestine, of most members of the mammal family. It is referred to as a tree because it begins with many small branches which end in the common bile duct, sometimes referred to as the trunk of the biliary tree.






Path

The path is as follows: Bile canaliculi >> canals of Hering >> bile ductules (in portal tracts) >> 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

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