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October 19, 1963

Hydrodynamics of Gallbladder Filling

Author Affiliations


From the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital; and the Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1963;186(3):232-235. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63710030014010c

GALLBLADDER FILLING assumed to occur passively as a result of the back pressure produced by the resistance of the choledochoduodenal sphincteric mechanism to the flow of bile. The association of the sphincter of Oddi with the gallbladder among various species suggests that this component of that mechanism is of prime importance in this regard. Sphincterotomy supposedly abolishes gallbladder function by reducing the resistance to bile flow sufficiently to prevent filling.

Previously reported studies in patients with alcoholic and idiopathic pancreatitis treated by transduodenal section of the sphincter of Oddi, without prior or concomitant cholecystectomy, have demonstrated that gallbladder function can be exhibited by oral cholecystography1 and that sphincteric resistance returns to normal levels as early as the second postoperative week.2 The present report deals with the direct and simultaneous measurement of gallbladder filling and choledochal pressure in such patients.

Materials and Methods  Sixteen patients with alcoholic or idiopathic,