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Ampulla of Vater

Ampulla of Vater
Biliary system
The ampulla of Vater, seen on duodenoscopy at the time of ERCP
Latin a. hepatopancreatica
Gray's subject #250 1199
MeSH Ampulla+of+Vater
Dorlands/Elsevier a_32/12127886

The ampulla of Vater (latin: papilla Vateri, papilla duodeni major), also known as the hepatopancreatic ampulla, is formed by the union of the pancreatic duct and the common bile duct. The ampulla is specifically located at the major duodenal papilla.



Various smooth muscle sphincters regulate the flow of bile and pancreatic juice through the ampulla: the sphincter of the pancreatic duct, the sphincter of the bile duct, and the hepatopancreatic sphincter (sphincter of Oddi).

The sphincter of Oddi controls the introduction of bile and pancreatic secretions into the duodenum, as well as preventing the entry of duodenal contents into the Ampulla.

Related disorders

  • Pancreatitis can result from a failure of pancreatic secretions to drain properly. One possible cause of impaired drainage of pancreatic juice is blockage of the hepatopancreatic ampulla. A common culprit to cause blockage is a gallstone in the common bile duct.


The eponymical term "ampulla of Vater" is named after Abraham Vater (1684-1751), a German anatomist who first published a description of it in 1720.[1]

Additional images


  1. ^ synd/3098 at Who Named It
  • "Ampulla, hepatopancreatic." Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 27th ed. (2000). ISBN 0-683-40007-X
  • Moore, Keith L. and Arthur F. Dalley. Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 4th ed. (1999). ISBN 0-683-06141-0
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ampulla_of_Vater". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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