Bile duct cannulation is most frequently performed to study hepatic metabolism and secretion of pharmaceuticals in swine. The bile duct must be cannulated in a re-entry fashion for experiments longer than a few days, otherwise pathology due to a lack of intestinal bile will occur. Cholecystectomy may have to be performed as part of the procedure if pure bile secretion from the liver is required. The bile in the gall bladder tends to develop different characteristics from bile excreted directly from the liver over time.
M. Michael Swindle, DVM, Professor and Chairman, Department of Comparative Medicine, Medical University of SC, Charleston, SC 29425