The liver is composed of numerous functional units called lobules. Within each lobule, epithelial cells called hepatocytes are arranged in layers that radiate out from a central vein. Hepatic sinusoids are spaces that lie between groups of layers, while smaller channels called bile canaliculi separate other layers. Each of (usually) six corners of the lobule are occupied by three vessels: one bile duct and two blood vessels (a portal triad). The blood vessels are branches from the hepatic artery (carrying oxygenated blood) and from the hepatic portal vein (carrying deoxygenated but nutrient-rich blood from the small intestine). Blood enters the liver through the hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein and is distributed to lobules. Blood flows into each lobule by passing through the hepatic sinusoid and collecting in the central vein. The central veins of all the lobules merge and
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course PT 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Texas State.