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.
- 9.3: Hepatic functions
- Detailed discussion of the hepatic physiology is beyond the scope of this book. However, understanding the roles of the liver is necessary when considering the microscopic anatomy.
- 9.6: The Biliary System
- The main function of the biliary system is the transportation of bile from the liver to the gut. Bile, produced by hepatocytes, is composed of water, cholesterol, bile pigments (bilirubin), electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, etc.), and bile salts. Bile salts (bile acids) serve as emulsifying agents useful for the digestion and absorption of lipids and lipid soluble vitamins (e.g. vimatin A and vitamin K) from the intestinal tract.