Intrahepatic Vascular Anatomy in Rats and Mice—Variations and Surgical Implications


The intra-hepatic vascular anatomy in rodents, its variations and corresponding supplying and draining territories in respect to the lobar structure of the liver have not been described. We performed a detailed anatomical imaging study in rats and mice to allow for further refinement of experimental surgical approaches.

LEWIS-Rats and C57Bl/6N-Mice were subjected to ex-vivo imaging using μCT. The image data were used for semi-automated segmentation to extract the hepatic vascular tree as prerequisite for 3D visualization. The underlying vascular anatomy was reconstructed, analysed and used for determining hepatic vascular territories.

The four major liver lobes have their own lobar portal supply and hepatic drainage territories. In contrast, the paracaval liver is supplied by various small branches from right and caudate portal veins and drains directly into the vena cava. Variations in hepatic vascular anatomy were observed in terms of branching pattern and distance of branches to each other. The portal vein anatomy is more variable than the hepatic vein anatomy. Surgically relevant variations were primarily observed in portal venous supply.

For the first time the key variations of intrahepatic vascular anatomy in mice and rats and their surgical implications were described. We showed that lobar borders of the liver do not always match vascular territorial borders. These findings are of importance for the design of new surgical procedures and for understanding eventual complications following hepatic surgery.


Projects: D1: Regulation of Blood Flow and Perfusion in the Liver, D4: Regeneration and Liver Size, E3: Horizontal integration on organ scale, E4: Vertical integration across biological scales

PLoS ONE 10(11) : e0141798
30th Nov 2015

Constanze Sänger, Andrea Schenk, Lars Ole Schwen, Lei Wang, Felix Gremse, Sara Zafarnia, Fabian Kiessling, Chichi Xie, Weiwei Wei, Beate Richter, Olaf Dirsch, Uta Dahmen

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[Constanze Sänger] [Andrea Schenk] [Lars Ole Schwen] [Sara Zafarnia] [Fabian Kiessling]

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Views: 1465
  • Created: 13th Jan 2016 at 08:00
  • Last updated: 13th Jan 2016 at 08:03

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