The relationship of the sphincter of Oddi to the physiologic and pathologic processes of the biliary tract has received increasing attention during the past decade. Attempts have been made to associate certain aspects of cholecystitis and cholelithiasis, acute pancreatitis and various forms of jaundice with a dysfunction of this muscle. Some of the symptomatology referable to the upper part of the abdomen in cases in which the diagnosis is obscure and many of the poor results following cholecystectomy have been attributed to dyskinesia of the sphincter. It has been suggested that it may be desirable to produce a concomitant incompetence of the sphincter of Oddi in many instances in which function of the gallbladder has been partially destroyed by disease or completely lost by operative removal. An experimental investigation of this problem forms the basis of the present communication.
The anatomist Gage1 first described the sphincter of the common