Anatomy of the liver Flashcards Preview

Theme 1: The Alimentary System > Anatomy of the liver > Flashcards

Flashcards in Anatomy of the liver Deck (29):

Liver topography

Largest gland in the body

Wedge shaped reddish brown organ

Located below the diaphragm, mostly the right hypochondrium and epigastrium


Main liver functions


Protein synthesis

Production of bile- accessory GI organ

Glycogen storage


Anterior view of the liver

Divided into two main lobes

Left and right


Posterior view of the liver

Two other lobes

Quadrate and caudate


Liver gross anatomy

Surface covered by peritoneum except bare area where it connects with diaphragm

Flaciform and lesser omentum ligaments separate left and right lobes

Porta hepatis divides the quadrate and caudate lobes


Peritoneal folds

Falciform ligament: links diaphragm to upper surface ligamentum teres at lower end

Round ligament: obliterated left umblical vein, extends to umbilicus

Coronary ligaments: links diaphragm to liver

Lesser omentum: links liver to stomach


Lesser omentum

From lesser curvature stomach to porta hepatis

Has a free margin

Encloses: hepatic artery, portal vein, bile duct, lymph vessels

Close to the stomach it encloses the gastric arteries and veins


Blood supply to the gut

Resort to embryological terms: foregut, midgut, hindgut

Each division with specific artery

All midline branches of the abdominal aorta


Blood supply to the liver

Coeliac artery: left gastric, splenic, hepatic

T12/L1 level

Also supplies duodenum and pancreas

No similarly named vein


Hepatic artery variations

Seen in 40-45% of people

Most common cases:
- right hepatic artery replaced to the SMA
- left hepatic artery replaced to the left gastric artery
- trifurcation of the common hepatic artery ( right hepatic artery, left hepatic artery, gastroduodenal artery)


Liver- functional anatomy

Performs a broad range of processes

Metabolism: portal system

Production and secretion of bile

Divided into lobes and segments to perform these


Liver and metabolism

Porta hepatis
- at hilum of liver
- deep fissure- 5cm
- entry/ exit pont for: hepatic portal vein, hepatic artery proper, common hepatic duct, nerves and lymphatics
- once in: branching of vessels
- division of liver into lobes and segments


Hepatic artery

Oxygenated blood


Portal vein (superior mesenteric and splenic)

Deoxygenated blood





Liver lobule

Liver anatomic lobes are subdivided into segments

Branches of hepatic artery and portal vein carry blood into sinusoids

Branches of bile duct accompany those of hepatic artery and portal vein

All three structure called portal triad and supply each segment



Each lobe contains several lobules

The functional units of the liver

Hexagon shaped

Contain hepatocytes (60% liver cells)

Hepatocytes also secrete bile

Portal triads at corners


Hepatocytes- metabolic functions

Synthesis and release plasma proteins into blood; albumin; clotting factors complement cascade components

Deaminates amino acids- urea into blood

Bilirubin to bile pigments

Bile salts- emulsification of fats


Venous drainage of the liver

Mixed blood from the two source in the sinusoids passes through hepatocytes and into the central vein

Central vein is found at the centre of a hepatic lobule

Central veins then drain into the sublobular vein

Sublobular veins then drain into hepatic veins


Portal systemic anastomosis

Communications between some branches of the portal and systemic systems

Portocaval anastomosis

Important if portal vein blocked or passage via liver meets resistance- portal hypertension

Allow collateral return of blood to heart without which subject would die


Anastomosis in abdominal part of oesophagus

Left gastric tributaries with oesophageal branches azygos


Anastomosis in anal canal

Superior rectal anastomoses with middle inferior rectal


Anastomosis in umbilicus

Paraumbilical veins with epigastric veins


Anastomosis in veins of colon, duodenum, pancreas, liver

With renal, lumbar and phrenic


Portal hypertension

Common clinical condition

Obstruction of portal vein

Pressure rises- hypertension

Anastomoses between portal and systemic means backflow to heart then lungs


Caput medusa; oesophageal varices


Portacaval shunt

Reduction of hypertension

Divert blood from portal to systemic

Blood diverted from portal to IVC

Portal vein conveys 70% blood to liver

Largerly been abandoned since the advent of TIPS



Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting



Secreted by hepatocytes into bile canaliculi

50ml/ hour

Closed sphincter oddi to duodenum-bile flos to gall bladder to be stored and concentrated

Right and left hepatic ducts- relevant lobes

Emerge from porta- unite to form common hepatic duct


Lymphatic drainage

Liver produces vast amount of lymph

Lymph nodes in porta hepatis

Pass to coeliac nodes

Drain to cisteran chyli


Liver trauma

Closely related to lower ribs

Fractured ribs/ penetrating wounds

High vascularisation- severe haemorrhage

Remove portions due to segmental nature liver vessels/ ducts supplying it
- liver biopsies
- metastatic spread
- cirrhosis