The liver is the heaviest visceral organ in the body

March 21, 2019 0 Comment

The liver is the heaviest visceral organ in the body, expressing 2–5% of body weight and exhibits an iterative, multicellular architecture. The organ is divided into four lobes; yet, the liver lobule represents its functional units.
Each lobule is composed of hexagonal cords of hepatocytes arranged around a central vein that drain into the large hepatic vein. The corners of the hexagon constitute the portal triad consisting of a portal vein, hepatic artery and biliary duct (Figure 1-A). Within a lobule, two afferent vessels supply hepatic blood: the hepatic artery and the portal vein, and flows in specialized sinusoidal vessels towards the central vein 1.
The hepatic sinusoid is a complex vascular channel built from specialized fenestrated endothelial cells of the liver also it is the residence of the hepatic macrophages named Kupffer cells. Stellate cells are located in the sub-endothelial space known as the space of Disse that separates the hepatocyte cords from the blood and the sinusoids (Figure 1-B). Bile, that is produced and excreted by hepatocytes into the bile canaliculi, flows in the opposite direction to sinusoidal blood flow towards the intrahepatic bile duct, which is lined by epithelial cells called cholangiocytes 5.