Liver lobes, liver cells, liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, fatty liver

Medical: hepar

English: liver

Illustration of the liver

Illustration liver
  1. Right lobe of the liver -
    Lobus hepatis dexter
  2. Gallbladder duct -
    Cystic duct
  3. Gallbladder -
    Vesica biliaris
  4. Main bile duct -
    Common bile duct
  5. Portal vein -
    Vena portae hepatis
  6. Hepatic artery -
    Hepatic artery propria
  7. Round liver band -
    Ligamentum teres hepatis
  8. Common
    Liver bile duct -
    Common hepatic duct
  9. Sickle ligament of the liver
    Falciform ligament
  10. Left lobe of the liver -
    Lobus hepatis sinister
  11. Hepatic veins -
    Hepatic veins
  12. Lower vena cava -
    Inferior vena cava
  13. Diaphragm - Diaphragm

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations


With a weight of 1-1.5kg, the liver is the largest metabolic organ in humans. It is located in the right upper abdomen directly under the Diaphragm, with which she is also grown. This means that their exact position is dependent on the movement of the diaphragm within the framework of the breathing dependent. The structure of the liver consists mainly of connective tissue fibers (septa), which divide the actual liver tissue into smaller units. The smallest subunit is a lobe of the liver with its hexagonal structure.

You can find more information about the anatomy of the abdominal cavity here: Abdomen


The liver is the central metabolic organ in humans. Their tasks include the food-dependent storage, conversion and release of sugars and fats, the breakdown and excretion of endogenous and medicinal toxins, the formation of most blood proteins and bile, and numerous other tasks.

"Internal organs" illustration

  1. Thyroid cartilage / larynx
  2. Windpipe (trachea)
  3. Heart (cor)
  4. Stomach (gaster)
  5. Large intestine (colon)
  6. Rectum
  7. Small intestine (ilium, jejunum)
  8. Liver (hepar)
  9. lung

Illustration of the liver

  1. right lobe of the liver
  2. left lobe of the liver

Blood supply

The blood supply to the liver is a special case in the human body. In total, 1.5 liters of blood flow through it per minute, which is a relative proportion of 25% of the total Blood of the body.

Three quarters of these 1.5 liters come from the veins of the Gastrointestinal tractleading to a new vein (portal vein, Portal vein) merge.
In the organs of the digestive tract, the blood has already given up its oxygen. This means that this part of the blood cannot supply the liver cells with oxygen. This function is taken over by the remaining 25% of the liver blood, which is extracted from the main artery via the hepatic artery (arteria hepatica propria)aorta) Supply oxygen-rich blood.

What is the point of the whole thing?

The blood that flows through the gastrointestinal tract absorbs all substances that have been supplied to the body with food. This can include both desired substances (e.g. proteins (proteins), sugars (carbohydrates), Vitamins) as well as undesirable substances (poisons, Medication).
It makes sense for the body to first pass the mixture through the liver and filter it there in order to protect the other organs. The sensible substances are at least partially temporarily stored for bad times, the dangerous substances are detoxified as far as possible.
And since the body needs energy for all of these processes, the liver has to go with it oxygen are supplied. This explains why two functionally different vascular systems reach the liver.

In the liver the vessels run in the connective tissue fibers mentioned above and continue to divide. The end point for the branches are the corners of the smallest liver unit, the hexagonal liver lobes. This is where the two previously separated blood streams mix.
From here, the mixed blood continues to flow along predetermined routes into the middle of the liver lobule. These ways, too Sinusoids called, like all blood vessels in the body, are lined by special cells (endothelial cells), but in the case of the liver they are much less dense. There are always larger gaps between the endothelial cells so that Blood plasma (Cell-free portion of the blood) can get as close as possible to the actual liver cells.

In the middle of the liver lobe there is a kind of collecting vessel, the so-called Central vein. It guides the blood, which has now been completely cleaned by the liver, out of the lobule of the liver. The individual central veins now continue to unite until they become one outside of the liver Hepatic vein unite, which in turn after a short course into the inferior vena cava (Inferior vena cava) flows out.

In the bloodways of the liver lobules are special cells that Copper star cells. They belong to the scavenger and immune cells that remove old proteins, red blood cells and also microbial pathogens (bacteria) from the blood.

Another type of cell, the so-called Ito cells have the task of storing fat-soluble vitamins (mainly vitamin A). They are also the origin for the pathological increase in connective tissue in the context of a Cirrhosis of the liver.