How is sphincter of Oddi dysfunction diagnosed?

When sphincter of Oddi dysfunction is suspected, your doctor will first check to see if the abdominal pain is caused by another condition. It is important to make sure patients with abdominal pain don't have serious conditions such as cancer of the pancreas or bile ducts, peptic ulcer disease, or stones in the ducts that carry the bile from the liver. In some cases, even heart conditions such as angina (chest pain) or ischemia (the heart doesn’t get enough blood) can cause pain that seems to be coming from the abdomen.

Your doctor may want to examine the sphincter of Oddi to see if it is functioning normally. This is done with a procedure called sphincter of Oddi manometry, in which the doctor places a small plastic tube into the pancreas duct or bile duct near the sphincter of Oddi to measure how well it is contracting and expanding. Patients are placed under sedation for this procedure.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/22/2018.


  • International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. Accessed 6/27/2018.
  • Hogan WJ. Diagnosis and Treatment of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. Gastroenterol Hepatol (NY). 2007 Jan; 3(1): 31–35.
  • Marks JM, Ponsky JL. Chapter 3. Endoscopy and Endoscopic Intervention. In: Zinner MJ, Ashley SW, eds. Maingot's Abdominal Operations. 12th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2013

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