The liver is a large internal organ located in the right hypochondrium. The liver has a unique asymmetrical shape and is subdivided into lobes, with the gallbladder in the lower part. The liver of a healthy and sick person looks differently.
Normally, the size of the liver in an adult is up to 30 cm in length, up to 20 cm in width and up to 15 cm in height. The lower borders of the liver should not go beyond the edge of the costal arch. In inflammatory processes of the liver, the boundaries of the organ expand, and its lower part protrudes several centimeters beyond the edge of the rib.
In the liver, two lobes are distinguished - the right and left, which are separated by the falciform ligament. The right lobe of the liver is much larger than the left. The gallbladder is located in the depression of the lower edge of the right lobe.
The hepatic lobes are divided into several sectors, which are divided into segments. Each segment has its own innervation, separate blood circulation, there is a structure for the outflow of bile. In the right lobe, 2 segments are distinguished - the right paramedian and the right lateral. The left lobe is divided into a left dorsal, left lateral, and left paramedian segment.
There are a lot of vessels in this organ, since the liver performs a filtration function. About one and a half liters of venous blood per minute is filtered through it, so the organ has a dark brown color. Blood enters the liver through 2 large vessels - the portal vein and the hepatic artery. Further, the vessels branch out to the smallest sinusoids, through which the blood flows to the hepotocytes - liver cells, and is cleared of various harmful substances. Each hepotocyte is equipped with a small duct through which it "sends" processed harmful substances together with bile pigment. The duct network carries bile into the gallbladder. When eating, the bladder contracts and bile is released into the duodenum. Bile is indispensable in digestion, it helps the breakdown of foods into nutrients, creates an alkaline environment in the intestines.
The surface of the liver in a healthy person has a smooth appearance and even color. On ultrasound examination, a healthy liver is characterized by homogeneous echogenicity, normal parameters, and preserved vascular pattern. The gallbladder is normally filled with bile on an empty stomach; after eating, bile should be evacuated through the free ducts.
With liver pathology, its appearance and structure change. Various diseases cause a change in its color, it becomes cyanotic or pale pink. With inflammation, the surface of the liver has a bumpy appearance, injected vessels appear, and the size of the organ increases. Ultrasound examination of a diseased liver determines its increased echogenicity, altered vascular pattern, and stagnation of bile.