Gallbladder and bile

Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a hollow, pear-like-shaped (piriform) organ that lies on the cystic plate (gallbladder bed) under the liver segments IVB and V. The cystic plate is a fibroareolar tissue that attaches the superior surface of the gallbladder to the liver.

Anatomy

  • Location: intraperitoneal organ
  • Size and volume
    • Length: 7–10 cm
    • Width: 2.5 cm (at its widest point)
    • Volume: 30–35 mL under normal conditions
      • Can hold up to 300 mL if the cystic duct is obstructed
  • Composition/structure

Function

Vasculature

Innervation

Cholecystitis causes referred pain to the right shoulder region because the phrenic nerve originates from spinal nerves C3–C5, which also provide somatic sensation to the shoulder area.

References:[1]

Biliary tract

Anatomy

The portal triad consists of the hepatic artery, portal vein, and common bile duct.

Bile

Composition

Bile is a secretion produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder that aids in digestion, neutralization of gastric acid, fat absorption, and excretion of bilirubin and cholesterol.

A deficiency of bile acids can result in fat malabsorption and cholesterol stones in the gallbladder.

Function

Enterohepatic circulation

Gallstones

References:[2][3]

Embryology

Microscopic anatomy

Layers of the gallbladder wall:

References:[2]

Clinical significance

Disorders of the biliary tract

Disorders of the bile

  • 1. Kapoor VK. Gallbladder Anatomy. In: Gest TR. Gallbladder Anatomy. New York, NY: WebMD. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1900182-overview. Updated December 8, 2017. Accessed June 7, 2018.
  • 2. Standring S. Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2016.
  • 3. Hall JE. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016.
  • Kaplan. USMLE Step 1 Lecture Notes 2016: Physiology. Kaplan Publishing; 2015.
  • Kaplan. USMLE Step 1 Anatomy Lecture Notes 2016. Kaplan Publishing; 2015.
  • Le T, Bhushan V,‎ Sochat M, Chavda Y, Zureick A. First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2018. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2017.
  • Chung KW. Gross Anatomy. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.
last updated 12/06/2019
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