Your liver makes a substance called bile that helps with digestion. Your gallbladder stores it until you need it to digest fat. Then your gallbladder pushes the bile into tubes called bile ducts. They carry the bile to your small intestine.
Different diseases can block the bile ducts and cause a problem with the flow of bile. Gallstones are one of the most common causes of blocked bile ducts. Blocked bile ducts may also result from infection, cancer or internal scar tissue. Scarring can block the bile ducts, which can lead to liver failure.
A rare form of bile duct disease called biliary atresia occurs in infants. It is the most common reason for liver transplants in children in the United States.
- ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase) Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- AMA Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- Bilirubin Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Available in Spanish
- GGT (Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase) Test (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- HIDA Scan (Cholescintigraphy) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- Understanding EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasonography) (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) Available in Spanish
- Bile Duct Exploration (Cleveland Clinic Foundation)
- Biliary obstruction - slideshow Available in Spanish
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatography (ERCP) - slideshow Available in Spanish
- Understanding ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)
- Biliary Tract Disorders, Gallbladder Disorders, and Gallstone Pancreatitis (American College of Gastroenterology) Available in Spanish
- Diagnosing & Treating Digestive Tract Disorders Endoscopically (OR-Live) - Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, 1/15/2009
- Genetics Home Reference: Alagille syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (National Library of Medicine)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Histopathological diagnostic value of the IgG4+/IgG+ ratio of plasmacytic infiltration...
- Article: A prospective randomized controlled study of long-term combination therapy using...
- Article: Incidence of subsequent cholangiocarcinomas after another malignancy: trends in a...
- Bile Duct Diseases -- see more articles
- Digestive Diseases Dictionary (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
- Biliary Atresia (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse)
- 5'-nucleotidase Available in Spanish
- Abdominal MRI Available in Spanish
- ALP Available in Spanish
- ALP isoenzyme test Available in Spanish
- Antimitochondrial antibody Available in Spanish
- Bile duct obstruction Available in Spanish
- Biliary atresia Available in Spanish
- Biliary stricture Available in Spanish
- Biopsy - biliary tract Available in Spanish
- Cholangitis Available in Spanish
- Cholestasis Available in Spanish
- ERCP Available in Spanish
- Gallbladder radionuclide scan Available in Spanish
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase Available in Spanish
- Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram Available in Spanish
- Primary biliary cirrhosis Available in Spanish
- Sclerosing cholangitis Available in Spanish