Chapter

Structure and function of the liver, biliary tract, and pancreas

Alexander Gimson and Simon M. Rushbrook

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.1519

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Structure and function of the liver, biliary tract, and pancreas

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The liver, sited in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, comprises eight segments, each of which is a complete functional unit with a single portal pedicle and a hepatic vein. Within the functional segments, the structural unit is the hepatic lobule, a polyhedron surrounded by four to six portal tracts containing hepatic arterial and portal venous branches from which blood perfuses through sinusoids, surrounded by walls of hepatocytes that are a single cell thick and lined by specialized endothelial cells with ‘windows’ (fenestrae), to the centrilobular region and the central hepatic veins. Bile secreted through the canalicular membrane of the hepatocyte collects in biliary canaliculi, from which it passes through the biliary tract into the gut....

Chapter.  6075 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gastroenterology

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