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Medicine LibreTexts

9: Hepatobiliary System

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  • Learning Objectives

    By the end of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

    • Describe the role of the liver in the synthesis of lipids and proteins.
    • Understand the role and importance of hepatocytes and in xenobiotic biotransformation.
    • Compare and contrast the location, function, and structural (microscopic) features of hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, Ito cells and Pit (immune) cells.
    • Describe the hepatic blood supply and diagram the flow of blood in the liver.
    • Describe and identify the three major structures that comprise the portal triad: portal vein, hepatic artery, and bile ductule.
    • Describe the flow of bile and the macro- and microscopic structures through which it flows, from hepatocyte to gastrointestinal tract.
    • Illustrate the different schemes used to describe the organization structure of the liver.

    By the end of this chapter, you should be able to answer the following:

    • What regions of the liver are most susceptible to hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) and why?
    • A porto-systemic shunt is formed when the portal circulation bypasses the liver and, instead, flows into the systemic venous circulation (most frequently as the result of a congenital vascular malformation). What are some possible consequences of blood from the portal circulation bypassing the liver? (Hint: recall the normal physiologic functions of the liver)

    The liver is the largest visceral organ in the body. This chapter will cover the hepatobiliary system.