Sphincter of Oddi

The sphincter of Oddi (also hepatopancreatic sphincter or Glisson's sphincter), abbreviated as SO,[1] is a muscular valve that in some animals, including humans, controls the flow of digestive juices (bile and pancreatic juice) through the ampulla of Vater into the second part of the duodenum. It is named after Ruggero Oddi.[2] The sphincter of Oddi is relaxed by the hormone cholecystokinin[3] via vasoactive intestinal peptide.[4]

sphincter of Oddi
Interior of the descending portion of the duodenum, showing bile papilla
Latinm. sphincter ampullae
Anatomical terminology

Clinical significance

Opiates may cause spasms of the sphincter of Oddi, leading to increased serum amylase levels.[5]

Other animals

In many mammals (including mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and opossums), the smooth muscle around the ampulla of Vater does not form a sphincter.[6]


The sphincter was described for the first time by Ruggero Oddi when he was a young student in 1887.[7] This description followed extensive research into the physiology of dogs and detailed histological examinations of humans and many other species.[1]


  1. Yamada T (2011-10-13). Textbook of Gastroenterology. John Wiley & Sons. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4443-5941-1.
  2. synd/2709 at Who Named It?
  3. Costanzo L (March 2006). BRS Physiology (Board Review Series) (5th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 220. ISBN 978-0781798761.
  4. Wiley JW, O'Dorisio TM, Owyang C (June 1988). "Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide mediates cholecystokinin-induced relaxation of the sphincter of Oddi". J. Clin. Invest. 81 (6): 1920–4. doi:10.1172/JCI113539. PMC 442644. PMID 3384954.
  5. Druart-Blazy A, Pariente A, Berthelemy P, Arotçarena R (December 2005). "The underestimated role of opiates in patients with suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction after cholecystectomy". Gastroenterol. Clin. Biol. 29 (12): 1220–3. doi:10.1016/s0399-8320(05)82204-3. PMID 16518275.
  6. Higashiyama H, Sumitomo H, Ozawa A, Igarashi H, Tsunekawa N, Kurohmaru M, Kanai Y (February 2016). "Anatomy of the Murine Hepatobiliary System: A Whole-Organ-Level Analysis Using a Transparency Method". Anat Rec (Hoboken). 299 (2): 161–72. doi:10.1002/ar.23287. PMID 26559382.
  7. Ono K, Hada R (July 1988). "Ruggero Oddi. To commemorate the centennial of his original article--"Di una speciale disposizione a sfintere allo sbocco del coledoco"". Jpn J Surg. 18 (4): 373–5. doi:10.1007/bf02471459. PMID 3050213.
  • Gray's Anatomy, 39th ed. p. 1228.

Further reading

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