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Common Hepatic Duct
Digestive System

Common Hepatic Duct

Ductus hepaticus communis

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The common hepatic duct is formed by the union of the left and right hepatic ducts, which carries bile from the left and right liver.

Structurally, the common hepatic duct has a mucosal layer and a muscular layer (Standring, 2016). The mucosal layer consists of a single cell epithelium on the luminal surface, small longitudinal folds, mucous glands, and loose connective tissue.

The muscular layer deep to this isn’t well formed in the hepatic duct and consists of mostly connective tissue and elastin, with few smooth muscle fibers (Gulwani, 2012).

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Key Features/Anatomical Relations

The common hepatic duct runs a short distance of roughly 3 cm in the hepatoduodenal ligament, starting near the external portion of the porta hepatis.

It runs to the right of the hepatic artery and anterior to the portal vein. Together, the duct, artery, and vein form the portal triad.

At its distal end, the cystic duct approaches on the left side and fuses with the common hepatic duct, marking the end of the common hepatic duct and the origin of the common bile duct (Standring, 2016).


The common hepatic duct transmits bile from the liver to either the gallbladder or the duodenum.


Gulwani, H. (2012) Histology-extrahepatic bile ducts. Gallbladder & extrahepatic bile ducts. in new tab/window): (Accessed: August 7th 2020).

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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Common Hepatic Duct

ScienceDirect image

The CHD courses ventrally and inferiorly from the porta hepatis in the hepatoduodenal ligament accompanied by the portal vein, which lies posteriorly, and the hepatic artery, which lies medially.

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