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Liver Cirrhosis - Research Paper Example

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Of all the organs that constitute the human body, perhaps there is none other that compares with the liver in the extent of multitasking and hard work it does. This paper summarizes the anatomy and physiology of the liver, and also attempts at describing liver cirrhosis, a debilitating liver disease. …
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Liver Cirrhosis
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Liver Cirrhosis

The Liver
Weighing about 1.4 kg, i.e. about 3 lb in adults, the liver is the heaviest organ of the human body. It is also the second largest organ, skin being the first. It is located below the rib cage at the right hand side of the body. To be precise, it occupies part of the epigastric regions in the abdomino-pelvic cavity and part of the hypochondriac region (Tortora and Derrickson, 2008, p. 945). A healthy liver is an extremely important asset for an individual’s health and well-being. As Chopra (2001) writes, the liver is “akin to a master conductor who is orchestrating a number of essential functions”, working as a “central manufacturing factory”, a processing plant for toxic waste and even as a warehouse, all at the same time (p. 4).
Anatomy of the Liver
The liver has two irregularly sized lobes – the larger right lobe, and the smaller left lobe. The two lobes are separated by a fold of mesentery, forming the smooth falciform ligament (Tortora and Derrickson, 2008, p. 945). The right lobe is five to six times bigger than the left lobe. The liver has a smooth texture and is a vascular organ rich in blood vessels that impart it a reddish brown color. It has an intricate and interconnected network of liver cells called hepatocytes, along with large amounts of ducts and veins (Chopra, 2001, p. 4)....
4). Anatomy of the Liver The liver has two irregularly sized lobes – the larger right lobe, and the smaller left lobe. The two lobes are separated by a fold of mesentery, forming the smooth falciform ligament (Tortora and Derrickson, 2008, p. 945). The right lobe is five to six times bigger than the left lobe. The liver has a smooth texture and is a vascular organ rich in blood vessels that impart it a reddish brown color. It has an intricate and interconnected network of liver cells called hepatocytes, along with large amounts of ducts and veins (Chopra, 2001, p. 4). The hepatocytes, which are the principal liver cells, constitute almost 70% of the entire mass of the liver and are derived from the embryonic endoderm (Zorn, 2008, para. 3). Although some anatomists believe that the right lobe has an inferior quadrate lobe and a posterior caudate lobe, studies based on internal morphology and the distribution of blood vessels reveal that these two lobes more appropriately belong to the left lobe (Tortora and Derrickson, 2008, p. 945). The smooth falciform ligament that divides the two lobes of the liver extends from below the diaphragm, thereby helping the liver to stay suspended in the abdominal cavity. A round ligament, called the ligamentum teres, which is a remnant of the fetal umbilical vein, is present in the free border of the falciform ligament and extends from the liver to the umbilicus. A pear-shaped sac called the gall bladder is located in a depression that is present on the posterior surface of the liver. It hangs from the anterior-inferior margin of the liver and measures 7-10 cm. An analysis of liver histology reveals that it consists of bile canaliculi and hepatic sinusoids, apart from hepatocytes. The hepatocytes (liver cells) are ... Read More
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