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Abstract

Background

Increasing precision of liver resection and use of reduced liver grafts stimulated this study of the blood supply of the intrahepatic bile ducts.

Method

Corrosion casts of human liver were dissected to study the blood supply of the right and left hepatic ducts.

Results

The dissected casts showed that the ducts are surrounded by a vascular plexus supplied from the main right and left hepatic arteries, segmental arteries, gastroduodenal artery and accessory hepatic arteries. This plexus is closely associated with the arteries supplying the caudate lobe. They arise from both right and left in two general patterns. This plexus links the arterial supplies of the right and left livers. Segment IV and the central portion of the left hepatic duct are often supplied by the right arterial system.

Conclusion

This study provides further insights into bile duct blood supply. The caudate lobe and biliary plexus provide collateral connections between the right and left livers. © 1998 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd