Sphincter of Oddi Function and Risk Factors for Dysfunction

Elham Afghani, Simon K. Lo, Paul S. Covington, Brooks D. Cash, Stephen J. Pandol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The sphincter of Oddi (SO) is a smooth muscle valve regulating the flow of biliary and pancreatic secretions into the duodenum, initially described in 1887 by the Italian anatomist, Ruggero Oddi. SO dysfunction (SOD) is a broad term referring to numerous biliary, pancreatic, and hepatic disorders resulting from spasms, strictures, and relaxation of this valve at inappropriate times. This review brings attention to various factors that may increase the risk of SOD, including but not limited to: cholecystectomy, opiates, and alcohol. Lack of proper recognition and treatment of SOD may be associated with clinical events, including pancreatitis and biliary symptoms with hepatic enzyme elevation. Pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches are discussed to help recognize, prevent, and treat SOD. Future studies are needed to assess the treatment benefit of agents such as calcium-channel blockers, glyceryl trinitrate, or tricyclic antidepressants in patients with SOD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - Jan 30 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • amylase
  • biliary colic
  • functional biliary disorder
  • hepatic enzymes
  • lipase
  • pancreatitis
  • sphincter of Oddi
  • sphincter of Oddi dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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