World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ampulla of Vater

Article Id: WHEBN0003033675
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ampulla of Vater  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pancreatic duct, Pancreas, Liver, Gallbladder, List of German inventions and discoveries
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ampulla of Vater

Ampulla of Vater
A diagram of the biliary system. Note that the ampulla of Vater is behind the major duodenal papilla.
The major duodenal papilla, seen on duodenoscopy at the time of ERCP. This is the protrusion of the ampulla of Vater into the duodenum.
Latin Ampulla hepatopancreatica, ampulla Vaterii
MeSH A03.
Anatomical terminology

The ampulla of Vater, also known as the hepatopancreatic ampulla,or as hepatopancreatic duct, is formed by the union of the pancreatic duct and the common bile duct. The ampulla is specifically located at the major duodenal papilla.

The ampulla of Vater is an important landmark, halfway along the second part of the duodenum that marks the anatomical transition from foregut to midgut, and hence the point where the celiac trunk stops supplying the gut and the superior mesenteric artery takes over.


Hepatopancreatic anatomy: The cystic duct leaves the gallbladder and joins with the common hepatic duct to form the common bile duct. This duct subsequently joins with the pancreatic duct; this junction is known as the ampulla of Vater. The pancreatic duct delivers substances such as bicarbonate and digestive enzymes to the duodenum. The bile from the gallbladder contains salts which emulsify large fat droplets into much smaller units. This provides a large surface area for the lipase enzymes to act on. The bicarbonate neutralises the acidic chyme, creating alkaline conditions for enzymes such as chymotrypsin and amylase to work best at these pH levels.


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 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.

Clinical relevance

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 sphincter of Oddi. A common cause of 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/3095 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 was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.