Calot triangle

Calot triangle or cystohepatic triangle is a small (potential) triangular space at the porta hepatis of surgical importance as it is dissected during cholecystectomy. Its contents, the cystic artery and cystic duct must be identified before ligation and division to avoid intra-operative injury.

Gross anatomy


The (isosceles) triangle is positioned so that the apex points towards the liver with the following boundaries:

  • right: the cystic duct which is often tortuous and has a beaded appearance, passes downward and to the left to join the common duct
  • leftcommon hepatic duct
  • superior: the inferior surface of the liver (in the original description by Calot the superior boundary is the cystic artery)

History and etymology

This space was first described by the French surgeon, Jean-François Calot (1861–1944) 3 in 1891, as part of his PhD thesis; although the triangle as described by Calot differs slightly from the modern description 4

Article information

rID: 40294
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • cystohepatic triangle
  • Triangle of Calot
  • Hepatocystic triangle
  • Calot's triangle

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: current excepted definition
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  • Figure 2: original definition
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