The liver is a reddish brown organ with four lobesof unequal size and shape. A human liver normallyweighs 1.44
1.66 kg (3.2
3.7 lb), and is a soft, pinkish-brown, triangular organ. It is both the largestinternal organ (theskinbeing the largest organ overall) and the largestglandin the human body. It islocated in theright upper quadrantof theabdominal cavity,resting just below thediaphragm.The liver lies to the right of the stomach and overlies thegallbladder.It is connected to two largeblood vessels,one called the hepatic artery and one called theportal vein.Thehepatic arterycarries blood from theaorta, whereas the portal vein carries blood containing digested nutrients from the entiregastrointestinal tractand also from the spleen and pancreas. These blood vessels subdivide intocapillaries, which then lead to a lobule. Each lobule is made up of millions of hepatic cells which arethe basic metabolic cells.Lobulesare the functional units of the liver.
Two major types of cells populate the liver lobes: parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells. 80% of theliver volume is occupied by parenchymal cells commonly referred to ashepatocytes.Non-parenchymal cells constitute 40% of the total number of liver cells but only 6.5% of its volume.Sinusoidal endothelial cells,kupffer cellsand hepatic stellate cells are some of the non-parenchymalcells that line the hepatic sinusoid.
The liver gets a dual blood supply from thehepatic portal veinandhepatic arteries.Supplyingapproximately 75% of the liver's blood supply, the hepatic portal vein carriesvenous blooddrainedfrom thespleen,gastrointestinal tract,and its associated organs. The hepatic arteries supplyarterialbloodto the liver, accounting for the remainder of itsblood flow.Oxygen is provided from bothsources; approximately half of the liver's oxygen demand is met by the hepatic portal vein, and half ismet by the hepatic arteries. Blood flows through theliver sinusoidsand empties into the central veinof each lobule. Thecentral veinscoalesce into hepatic veins, which leave the liver.