What is hepatopancreatic sphincter? - Location, Function, Obstruction

The hepatopancreatic sphincter also called the Sphincter of Oddi or Glisson's sphincter, is a muscle valve that controls how much bile and pancreatic secretions travel through the ampulla of Vater and into the duodenum. It is positioned at the primary duodenal papilla and prevents duodenal reflux.

The Sphincter of Oddi is an integral part of digestion and helps control digestive fluids from the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. The sphincter relaxes and opens when food passes into the small intestine. This permits bile and pancreatic fluids to flow into the gut, where they assist in the digestion of food. A closed sphincter prevents digestive fluids from leaking back into the ducts once digestion is complete.

Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction is linked to several digestive issues, including biliary colic, a painful condition produced by bile backing up into the abdominal cavity. Pancreatitis, or pancreatic inflammation, can also be induced by sphincter dysfunction. In certain circumstances, the sphincter becomes occluded, resulting in bile duct obstruction and symptoms such as jaundice and abdominal pain.

What is hepatopancreatic sphincter - Location, Function, Obstruction

What is the hepatopancreatic sphincter?

The hepatopancreatic sphincter, also known as the Sphincter of Oddi, is a ring of muscle located at the junction between the common bile duct and the main pancreatic duct in the digestive system. In addition to preventing bile and pancreatic fluids from flowing backward into the ducts, it also controls their outward flow into the small intestine.


The Sphincter of Oddi also called Glisson's sphincter, is on the surface of the duodenum, a little bit away from where the common bile duct and pancreatic duct meet. The duct of Wirsung is encircled by a complex of four smooth muscle sphincters that are located within the duodenal wall. This complex helps the duodenum remain securely attached to the duodenum.


It regulates the passage of pancreatic and bile secretions from the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder into the small intestine's duodenum. It is made up of muscle rings in a concentric pattern that arises from the mesenchyme around the bile and pancreatic ducts in the pre-ampullary region. Hormones such as vasoactive intestinal peptide and cholecystokinin are responsible for relaxing the sphincter.

It can be affected by disorders such as sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD) and sphincter of Oddi stenosis. Its functionality is typically evaluated using endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatograms (ERCPs).


Sphincter of Oddi obstruction, sometimes called Glisson's sphincter obstruction, is a sphincter-level, non-calculous obstructive disease. It is more prevalent in women of middle age and can cause significant abdominal pain. Jaundice, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Sphincter of Oddi manometry is a diagnostic method used to identify the sphincter of Oddi dysfunction by measuring the pressure and motility of the sphincter through the insertion of a tiny tube. Treatment options include sphincter muscle relaxants and endoscopic techniques like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Surgery is another treatment option for people who are dealing with severe symptoms.

What is hepatopancreatic sphincter? - Location, Function, Obstruction What is hepatopancreatic sphincter? - Location, Function, Obstruction Reviewed by Simon Albert on February 12, 2023 Rating: 5
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