Endoscopic manometry was used to measure pancreatic duct, common bile duct, pancreatic duct sphincter and bile duct sphincter pressures in 43 healthy volunteers and 162 patients with a variety of papillary, pancreatic and biliary disorders. Common bile duct pressure was significantly raised after cholecystectomy, with common bile duct stones and papillary stenosis but pancreatic duct pressure only in papillary stenosis. After endoscopic sphincterotomy mean common bile duct pressure fell from 11.2 to 1.1 mmHg and pancreatic duct pressure from 18.0 to 11.2 mmHg. Distinct pancreatic duct sphincter and bile duct sphincter zones were identified as phasic pressures of 3-12 waves/minute on pull-through from pancreatic duct and common bile duct to duodenum. Pancreatic duct sphincter pressures were higher with common bile duct stones and stenosis whereas bile duct sphincter pressures were higher in pancreatitis and stenosis. Bile duct sphincter activity was present in 60% of patients after surgical sphincteroplasty but 21% of patients after endoscopic sphincterotomy. Endoscopic manometry facilitated the diagnosis of papillary stenosis, has allowed study of papillary pathophysiology and has shown a functional inter-relationship between the two sphincteric zones.
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