The sphincter of Oddi occupies a central position in the function of the biliary ducts. It closes not only the common bile duct but the pancreatic duct as well. It regulates the discharge of the bile into the duodenum and the pressure in the biliary ducts. Since Oddi's time a large number of authors have discussed its functions, but many problems still remain unsolved. Not until recent times has the motor function of the sphincter of Oddi received proper attention, and its mechanism, as well as its importance, just begins to be understood (Foti, Mester, and Juhasz; Stalport, Nicholas, and Demelenne). Our present investigation shall be devoted, in the first place, to a closer study of its motor function.
In the cholangiograms we found that the sphincter of Oddi has not only a simple mechanic function, but that it has a contracting and relaxing activity of its own as well.