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

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

Alexander Gimson

and Simon M. Rushbrook

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date: 19 September 2021

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....

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