Gallbladder and sphincter of Oddi disorders

Peter B. Cotton, Grace H. Elta, C. Ross Carter, Pankaj Jay Pasricha, Enrico S. Corazziari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The concept that motor disorders of the gallbladder, cystic duct, and sphincter of Oddi can cause painful syndromes is attractive and popular, at least in the United States. However, the results of commonly performed ablative treatments (eg, cholecystectomy and sphincterotomy) are not uniformly good. The predictive value of tests that are often used to diagnose dysfunction (eg, dynamic gallbladder scintigraphy and sphincter manometry) is controversial. Evaluation and management of these patients is made difficult by the fluctuating symptoms and the placebo effect of invasive interventions. A recent stringent study has shown that sphincterotomy is no better than sham treatment in patients with post-cholecystectomy pain and little or no objective abnormalities on investigation, so that the old concept of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction type III is discarded. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography approaches are no longer appropriate in that context. There is a pressing need for similar prospective studies to provide better guidance for clinicians dealing with these patients. We need to clarify the indications for cholecystectomy in patients with functional gallbladder disorder and the relevance of sphincter dysfunction in patients with some evidence for biliary obstruction (previously sphincter of Oddi dysfunction type II, now called "functional biliary sphincter disorder") and with idiopathic acute recurrent pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1429.e2
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Biliary Pain
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography
  • Idiopathic Pancreatitis
  • Post-Cholecystectomy Pain
  • Sphincter Manometry
  • Sphincterotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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