Anatomy of hepatic arteriolo-portal venular shunts evaluated by 3D micro-CT imaging

Timothy L. Kline, Bruce E. Knudsen, Jill L. Anderson, Andrew J. Vercnocke, Steven M. Jorgensen, Erik L. Ritman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The liver differs from other organs in that two vascular systems deliver its blood - the hepatic artery and the portal vein. However, how the two systems interact is not fully understood. We therefore studied the microvascular geometry of rat liver hepatic artery and portal vein injected with the contrast polymer Microfil®. Intact isolated rat livers were imaged by micro-CT and anatomic evidence for hepatic arteriolo-portal venular shunts occurring between hepatic artery and portal vein branches was found. Simulations were performed to rule out the possibility of the observed shunts being artifacts resulting from image blurring. In addition, in the case of specimens where only the portal vein was injected, only the portal vein was opacified, whereas in hepatic artery injections, both the hepatic artery and portal vein were opacified. We conclude that mixing of the hepatic artery and portal vein blood can occur proximal to the sinusoidal level, and that the hepatic arteriolo-portal venular shunts may function as a one-way valve-like mechanism, allowing flow only from the hepatic artery to the portal vein (and not the other way around).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-731
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Volume224
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Liver
  • Modulation transfer function
  • Partial volume effect
  • Rat
  • Small animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Histology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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  • Cite this

    Kline, T. L., Knudsen, B. E., Anderson, J. L., Vercnocke, A. J., Jorgensen, S. M., & Ritman, E. L. (2014). Anatomy of hepatic arteriolo-portal venular shunts evaluated by 3D micro-CT imaging. Journal of Anatomy, 224(6), 724-731. https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.12178