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Segmental nature of the porcine liver and its potential as a model for experimental partial hepatectomy. BJS 2003; 90: 440-444.

Published: 10th February 2003

Authors: F. G. Court, S. A. Wemyss‐Holden, C. P. Morrison, B. D. Teague, P. E. Laws, J. Kew et al.

Background

In‐depth knowledge of pig liver anatomy allows potential research into segmental liver resections and hepatic regeneration, as well as liver transplantation techniques. The segmental anatomy, however, remains largely unknown. This study aimed to delineate the segmental anatomy of the porcine liver in comparison with that of the human.

Method

The segmental anatomy of the porcine liver was determined using acrylic injection casting of ex vivo pig livers, allowing the arterial, venous and biliary supply to be visualized directly. This was correlated using multi‐slice computed tomography (CT) and three‐dimensional reconstructions.

Results

Although the external morphology of the porcine liver differs from that of the human, the segmental anatomy is remarkably similar in term of its vascularity and biliary tree.

Conclusion

Acrylic casting of the porcine liver accurately delineates the vascular and biliary anatomy, and is a useful tool for performing experimental liver surgery. The similarities between porcine and human segmental anatomy allow domestic swine to be used as a comparable model. Three‐dimensional CT reconstructions can also accurately visualize the anatomy and may be used to perform virtual surgery, or to assess segmental volumes. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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