Bile duct duplication

Last revised by Dr Mohamed Saber on 15 Apr 2022

Bile duct duplication, also known as common bile duct duplication (although in some cases this latter terminology would be erroneous), is a rare congenital anomaly of the biliary system. A double bile duct is considered normal during early human development, but by birth, we expect to see the conventional anatomy consisting of a single common hepatic and bile duct 1.


Modified double common bile duct classification proposed by Choi et al. 1:

  • type I: distal septum splitting the bile duct lumen
  • type II: bifurcation of the distal bile duct with each lumen draining independently
  • type III: complete duplication of the bile ducts
    • IIIa: without communicating channels
    • IIIb: with intrahepatic communicating channels
  • type IV: two bile ducts with extrahepatic communicating channel(s) each with a separate opening
  • type V: duplicated proximal bile ducts with single biliary drainage
    • Va: without communicating channels
    • Vb: with communicating channels

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