Common hepatic duct
The common hepatic duct is a duct arising from the junction of the left and right hepatic ducts, which drain bile from the liver. It is an important part of the biliary duct system, which plays a crucial part in the overall function of the digestive system. When measured in adults, the duct is approximately 6-8cm in length. In diameter, it is approximately 6mm in adults. It is connected to the gallbladder through the cystic duct. The duct helps in the transport of secretions from the liver and down to the intestines, such as proteins, hormones, nutrients, enzymes and coagulation factors that are all important in various physiologic functions. It also serves as an important guide during gastrointestinal surgeries, such as in the removal of the gallbladder, to prevent errors during such surgeries. Disorders that affect the liver can also affect the common hepatic duct, such as liver cancer, fatty liver and cirrhosis. Obstruction of the duct can also occur because of mechanical factors like duct stones.
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In Depth: Common hepatic duct