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  ANATOMY OF LIVER

Gross anatomy

The liver is the largest gland in the body (Weight 1.36 kg) . It is located on the right side of the upper abdomen. It is a soft, "wedge-shaped" organ, reddish-brown in color because of the rich supply of blood flowing through it.

Liver is made of two lobes. The right lobe is the larger, measuring 6 to 7 inches in length. The left lobe is approx 3 inches in length.

The liver is covered entirely by visceral peritoneum, except for a small area where it connects to the diaphragm, The peritoneum folds back on itself to form the falciform ligament and the right and left triangular ligaments. The falciform ligament divides the liver into a left lobe, and a right lobe. If seen from visceral side, two more lobes are visible : the caudate lobe and below this the quadrate lobe. From behind, ligamentum venosum divides these lobes and ligamentum teres divides the caudate from the quadrate lobe. How does Liver look when seen through microscope? When viewed under a microscope, the liver is seen as large number of hepatic lobules. The hepatic lobule looks like a six-sided cylinder. A central vein runs through the center of the lobe. Liver cells are arranged in the form of cords. Between these cords lies thin-walled blood vessels called sinusoids.

Blood supply of liver

Two major blood vessels supply liver.

Hepatic artery

Portal vein

The hepatic artery comes off the celiac trunk which in turn comes from aorta. The venous blood from the digestive tract is collected by the portal vein, which then supplies blood to liver. The hepatic veins drain blood from liver into the inferior vena cava.

Biliary System

Liver produces bile. Bile is then collected in bile capillaries, which merge to form bile ducts. Bile duct drain into right and left hepatic ducts, which combine to form common hepatic duct. The bile is stored and concentrated in gall bladder during fasting state. When person takes food, Gall bladder contracts, emptying bile into cystic duct, shich combines with common hepatic duct to form common bile duct. Common bile duct drains bile into duodenum through ampulla of vater, a sphincter which controls bile flow into duodenum.

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