Functional Anatomy of the Liver

Porta Hepatis

There is an H-shaped fissure on the posterio-inferior surface of the liver.

  • RIGHT anterior arm – fossa for gallbladder
  • RIGHT posterior arm – groove for IVC
  • LEFT anterior – fissure containing ligamentum teres
  • LEFT posterior fissure for ligamentum venosum
  • CROSSBAR – porta hepatis

The porta hepatis (“gate to the liver”) is where the hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein enter the liver. These two vessels, along with the common hepatic duct, run behind the lateral border of the lesser omentum on the way to their destination.

Between the limbs of this ‘H’ lies the quadrate lobe in front and the caudate lobe behind.

The portal triad is enclosed in the hepatoduodenal ligament (HDL), composed of 2 layers of lesser omentum and contains the:

  • common hepatic duct (CHD) in front and to the right,
  • the proper hepatic artery in front and to the left,
  • and the portal vein posteriorly
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