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Normal physiology of the hepatic system 

Normal physiology of the hepatic system
Chapter:
Normal physiology of the hepatic system
Author(s):

William Bernal

and Alberto Quaglia

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0173
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date: 18 October 2021

Hepatic blood inflow is from two sources—high-pressure, well-oxygenated blood from the hepatic artery and low-pressure, partly deoxygenated blood from the portal vein. Hepatic inflow is maintained by variation in flows in these two systems. Although less than a third of total blood flow is delivered via the hepatic artery, it is responsible for the majority of hepatic oxygen supply. The liver can be subdivided into eight functionally independent segments, each with its own vascular inflow, outflow, and biliary drainage. The tri-dimensional hepatic microstructure is complex with geographic heterogeneity of hepatocellular function, and resistance to toxic, ischaemic, and metabolic damage. The liver is central to a wide variety of synthetic, metabolic, and detoxification functions. The overall balance of activity may be altered rapidly in response to systemic inflammatory stimuli.

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