The major duodenal papilla is an opening of the pancreatic duct into the duodenum.
The major duodenal papilla is situated in the second part of the duodenum, 7-10 cm from the pylorus, at the level of the second or third lumbar vertebrae. It is surrounded by the sphincter of Oddi, and receives a mixture of pancreatic enzymes and bile from theAmpulla of Vater, which drains both the pancreatic duct and biliary system.
The major duodenal papilla is seen from the duodenum as lying within a mucosal fold. The minor duodenal papilla is situated 2cm proximal.
The major duodenal papilla is occasionally found in the third part of the duodenum, the level of the vertebrae may be L2-3, and in about 10% of people, it may not receive bile. Additionally, in a small amount of people, the primary papilla for draining the pancreas may in fact be the accessory pancreatic duct.