Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Liver has the privilege of being the –

–        Second largest organ within the human physique (pores and skin is the primary largest organ)
–        Heaviest inside organ
–        The most important gland within the human physique
–        Main metabolic organ and an essential accent digestive organ


It majorly occupies the best higher stomach and center stomach and in addition extends a bit into the left higher stomach. It lies underneath the diaphragm, a muscular partition between the organs of chest and stomach cavity. It has two lobes of unequal form and dimension. It’s positioned to the best of the abdomen and overlies the gallbladder.

Form of the liver

Form of the liver might be in comparison with that of a prism or wedge.

The bottom of the wedge of the liver is in the direction of the best whereas its apex is in the direction of the left (pointing in the direction of the left of stomach).

Color and consistency of the liver

Liver is darkish reddish brown / pinkish brown in color. It’s tender in consistency. It’s extremely vascular and is well friable.

Weight of the liver

Liver roughly weighs 1500 grams (1.5 kilograms / 3.3 kilos roughly). Whereas that is the typical weight, it might differ between people, 970-1,860 grams in males and 600-1,770 grams in girls (Wikipedia).

Width of the liver

Human liver is roughly 6 inches / 15 centimetres in width.

Blood Vessels and inside of the liver

The principle blood vessels associated to the liver are the hepatic artery and the portal vein.

–        Hepatic artery – takes its origin from the aorta and carries blood by way of the celiac trunk.
–        Portal Vein – carries nutrient wealthy blood from gastrointestinal tract, spleen and pancreas.

These blood vessels additional subdivided into small capillaries. These capillaries are referred to as liver sinusoids which lead into hepatic lobules.

Hepatic lobules – Hepatic lobules are the purposeful items of the liver. Hundreds of thousands of hepatocytes i.e. hepatic cells make up every lobule of the liver. They’re the essential metabolic cells.

Connecting tissue holding the lobules – A high-quality, dense and irregular fibroelastic connective tissue layer holds these lobules collectively. This layer extends from Glisson’s capsule – the fibrous capsule masking your complete liver. This tissue extends into the construction of the liver and accompanies the blood vessels, ducts and nerves on the hepatic hilum.

Peritoneal Layer – A serous coat derived from peritoneum covers the entire floor of the liver except ‘naked space’. This layer firmly adheres to the interior Glisson’s capsule.

Lobes of Liver

As considered from above – the liver is grossly divided right into a proper lobe and a left lobe by falciform ligament.

As considered from beneath – the liver is split into 4 components i.e. –

–        Left lobe
–        Proper lobe
–        Caudate lobe
–        Quadrate lobe

Caudate and Quadrate lobes are positioned between the best and left lobes.

Ligamentum venosum and spherical ligament of the liver additional divide the left facet of the liver in two sections.

Porta Hepatis divides the left portion of the liver into 4 segments.

Surfaces of the Liver

a.   Diaphragmatic Floor – The higher floor of the liver, which incorporates the convex higher areas of each the best and left lobes accommodating the form of the diaphragm, is named a diaphragmatic floor. It has a triangular ‘naked space’ which is in direct contact with the diaphragm. The opposite a part of the higher floor, apart from the naked space, is roofed by Peritoneum – a double layered membrane.

The identical peritoneum folds on itself in order to kind the falciform ligament and the best and left triangular ligaments. Falciform ligament attaches the liver to the posterior portion of the anterior physique wall. The triangular ligaments would not have any purposeful significance.

b.   Visceral floor – The inferior floor of the liver is named the visceral floor as a result of it’s involved with visceral organs of the stomach. This floor is concave and uneven. This space can also be lined by peritoneum except these areas the place it attaches to the gallbladder and porta hepatis.

To the best of the quadrate lobe is the fossa of gallbladder. The gallbladder together with its cystic duct occupies this fossa, close to to the best finish of porta hepatis.

Impressions of the liver

Impressions are shaped on the underneath floor of the liver the place it comes into contact with varied adjoining buildings and visceral organs. Under talked about are the impressions –

–        Colic impression – for hepatic flexure of the colon (proper lobe)
–        Renal impression – for a part of proper kidney and a part of suprarenal gland (proper lobe)
–        Suprarenal impression – for proper suprarenal gland (proper lobe)
–        Duodenal impression – medial to the renal impression, for descending portion of the duodenum (proper lobe)
–        Gastric impression and tuber omentale – for abdomen (left lobe)

Microscopic Anatomy of the Liver

Every lobe of the liver is made up of hepatic lobules. These lobules are hexagonal in form. They include hepatocytes and sinusoids radiating from a central vein.

Portal Triad – It’s a distinct part of a lobule. It consists of three elements i.e. the hepatic artery, the portal vein and customary bile duct. Every triad runs alongside every of the lobule’s corners.

Liver Cells – There are two main forms of liver cells.

–        Parenchymal cells / hepatocytes make up about 70-85% of liver quantity
–        Nonparenchymal cells – make up about 40% of liver cells however solely 6.5% of liver quantity

Different cells embrace –

–        Sinusoidal endothelial cells and Phagocytic Kupffer cells – line the liver sinusoids
–        Hepatic stellate cells (nonparenchymal) – present in perisinusoidal house
–        Intrahepatic lymphocytes – current within the sinusoidal lumen

Useful Anatomy

The Porta Hepatis is a gap current within the hepatic hilum (the central space). It carries the frequent bile duct and customary hepatic artery and the opening for the portal vein.

Useful left and proper lobes – are the areas of liver provided by the left and proper branches of the bile duct, hepatic vein and portal vein. Cantlie’s line is an imaginary airplane which separates the purposeful lobes of the liver.

The true proper and left lobes of the liver are demarcated / separated by Cantlie’s line and center hepatic vein.

The appropriate hepatic vein divides the best lobe into anterior and posterior segments.

The left hepatic vein divides the left lobe into the medial and lateral segments.

Additional the Couinaud System of classification divides the liver into eight functionally unbiased liver segments, every of which having its personal vascular influx, outflow and biliary drainage.

Fetal Blood Provide

Umbilical vein, which provides vitamins to the rising fetus, is the foremost supply of blood to the liver.

Features of Liver

It’s estimated that the human liver is accountable for over 500 totally different features within the physique that are primarily carried out by the liver cells referred to as hepatocytes.

Blood Provide to the liver

The blood provide to the liver is derived from each the hepatic portal vein and hepatic arteries. The hepatic portal vein is the principle gamechanger right here. It provides round 75% of blood provide to the liver. It additionally carries the venous blood drained from the spleen, gastrointestinal tract and its related organs. The arterial blood provided to the liver comes from hepatic arteries which varieties the opposite 25% of blood provide.

The blood flows by means of the liver sinusoids and empties into the central vein positioned in every lobule.

Then again, the central veins coalesce into hepatic veins. These veins depart the liver and drain into the inferior vena cava.

Biliary Tract or Tree

It’s the pathway by which the bile which is secreted by the liver is transported to the duodenum, the primary a part of the small gut. The tract is derived from the branches of the bile ducts. The bile collects within the bile canaliculi. These canaliculi radiate to the sting of the liver lobule. Right here, they merge to kind bile ducts. These ducts are referred to as intrahepatic bile ducts whereas they’re inside the liver however are referred to as extrahepatic bile ducts as soon as they exit from the liver. The intrahepatic ducts drain into proper and left hepatic ducts. These ducts exit the liver and merge to kind the frequent hepatic duct. The frequent bile duct is shaped by the becoming a member of of the frequent bile duct exiting the liver and cystic duct coming from the gallbladder.

The frequent bile duct drains the bile instantly into the duodenum or it’s saved briefly within the gallbladder by way of the cystic duct.

Ampulla of Vater / Hepatopancreatic Ampulla – It’s current within the second a part of the duodenum into which the frequent bile duct and the pancreatic duct enters and opens into the duodenum.

Liver transplantation was first carried out by

–        Thomas Starzl – USA – IN 1963
–        Roy Calne – Cambridge, England – 1967

It’s the solely possibility for these with irreversible liver failure. Most liver transplants are achieved for power liver illnesses resulting in Cirrhosis.

In Ayurveda, the liver is named Yakrit. Ayurveda too has talked about the liver for granted sided organ positioned within the stomach cavity.

Yakrit, together with Pliha – spleen and Raktavahini Dhamanis – arteries carrying blood, is the basis of raktavaha srotas – channels forming and carrying blood within the physique. They’re additionally the seat of raktadhara kala – membranes and layers inside the pulp of the liver which assist in formation of fine high quality and amount of blood.

Additionally, the liver and spleen are thought-about as ‘raktashaya’ i.e. reservoirs of blood within the physique. Fashionable anatomy too considers the identical.

Functionally the liver and spleen are the abodes of ranjaka pitta – a pitta subtype which helps in colouring the rasa tissue getting into these organs and reworking it into rakta – blood tissue.

Associated Studying – Yakrit Rachana Shareera – Anatomy of liver, Ayurveda perspective