Variations in extra-hepatic biliary tree morphology and morphometry: a narrative review of literature with focus on cystohepatic triangle

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Doi: DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2022.0069



The morphometry and morphology of the components of extrahepatic biliary tree show extensive variations. A beforehand recognition of these variations is very crucial to prevent unintended complications while performing surgeries in this region. This study was conducted to analyze the configuration of the extrahepatic biliary tree and its possible variations, as well as measure the components that limit the cystohepatic triangle. Articles were searched in major online indexed databases (Medline and PubMed, Scopus, Embase, CINAHL Plus, Web of Science and Google Scholar) using relevant key words. A total of 73 articles matched the search criteria of which 55 articles were identified for data extraction. The length of left and right hepatic duct in majority of studies was found to be >10 mm. A wide range of diameters of hepatic ducts were observed between 5-43 mm. The average length of cystic duct is around 20 mm. The length and diameter of the common bile duct are 50-150 mm and 3-9 mm respectively. The most frequently observed pattern of insertion of cystic duct into common hepatic duct is right lateral, rarely anterior, or posterior spiral insertion can present. The results of this study will provide a standard reference range which instead will help to differentiate the normal and pathological conditions.