The liver is the largest gland in the body and has both endocrine and exocrine functions. The structural plan of the liver is a reflection of its vascular supply, and it is important to understand the transitional relationships between the incoming hepatic artery and portal vein, and the hepatic vein which drains blood from the liver into the inferior vena cava.
In addition to recognizing the landmarks of the classical lobule, the student should also be aware of the boundaries and axial structures of the portal lobule and hepatic acinus.
The liver has three primary functions-
1. Secretion of bile for the emulsification of ingested fats in the small intestine. 2. Processing intermediary metabolism products such as- a. Storing sugars in the form of glycogen (glycogensis). b. Breaking down of glycogen to sugars for utilization by the body (glycogenolysis). c. Converting fats and proteins to carbohydrate (gluconeogenesis). d. Deamination of amino acids with the production of urea as a by-product. e. Metabolism and storage of fats. f. Production of plasma proteins. g. Detoxification. 3. The filtration of blood.