Close relation between the inferior vena cava ligament and the caudate lobe in the human liver
This study was conducted to clarify the real relation between the inferior vena cava (IVC) ligament and the caudate lobe in the human liver and also to elucidate their surgical importance in liver surgery.
Specimens obtained from 20 adult cadaveric livers were submitted for the study. Histological structures of the IVC ligament and its relationship to the caudate lobe and the IVC were microscopically investigated.
The IVC ligament was a broad membranous connective tissue bridging the left and right side edges of the caval groove in which the IVC was embedded. At both edges of the caval groove, the IVC ligament was continuously transformed from the Glisson's capsules of the caudate and right lobes. The component of the portal triad, which originated from that of caudate lobe, and lymphatics were distributed in the IVC ligament without exception and ectopic hepatocytes existed in it in 4 of the 20 cases.
A close relation between the IVC ligament and the caudate lobe was confirmed. The findings suggested that the IVC ligament is a kind of degenerated hepatic tissue. When dissecting it, surgeons should manipulate it carefully to prevent unexpected bleeding and bile leakage.
Key wordsInferior vena cava ligament Caudate lobe Inferior vena cava Human liver Liver surgery
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