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Radiology. 2001 Nov;221(2):411-4.

Is age associated with size of adult extrahepatic bile duct: sonographic study.

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Department of Radiology, Albert Einstein Medical Center, 5501 Old York Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19141-3098, USA.



To determine if the size of the extrahepatic bile duct increases with age in adults.


A total of 258 consecutive patients 18 years and older, without known biliary or pancreatic disease, who were fasting to undergo routine abdominal sonography were examined. The transverse and anteroposterior dimensions of the extrahepatic bile duct were measured proximally at the porta hepatis, at the middle above the head of the pancreas, and distally at the head of the pancreas. Simple linear regression of the average of these measurements against age tested the hypothesis of a slope of 1.0 mm per decade.


The sample included a wide variety of ages: 55 years +/- 16 (mean +/- SD), with a range of 20-92 years, including 151 men and 107 women. One-tenth of the cohort were younger than 35 years old and one-tenth were older than 77 years old. The six measurements were proximal-transverse 3.5 mm +/- 1.0, proximal-anteroposterior 2.9 mm +/- 1.1, middle-transverse 3.9 mm +/- 1.2, middle-anteroposterior 3.4 mm +/- 1.2, distal-transverse 4.1 mm +/- 1.2, distal-anteroposterior 3.5 mm +/- 1.2. Least squares regression slope differed significantly from 0.1 mm per year (95% CI; -0.000703, +0.00110) and in fact contained zero.


Findings were not able to help confirm an association between age and size of the extrahepatic bile duct in an asymptomatic adult population.

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