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Introduction to Liver

Liver, one of the most vital organs in vertebrates, is the largest glandular organ of the human body. It is relatively much larger in the fetus than in the adult, constituting, in the former, about one eighteenth, and in the latter about one thirty-sixth of the entire body weight. It is a reddish-brown organ, weighing about1.5 kg, and is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen just below the diaphragm surrounded by a strong capsule. The liver is divided into four lobes of unequal size and shape, namely right lobe, left lobe, quadrate lobe, and caudate lobe.

Liver affects almost every physiological process of the body and performs over 500 different chemical functions. It plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body,including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion, via the emulsification of lipids. The liver’s highly specialized tissues regulate a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions.

Liver, the largest gland in the body, is situated in the upper and right parts of the abdominal cavity occupying almost the whole of right hypochondrium, the greater part of epigastrium, and in some cases extending into the left hypochondrium as far as the mammillary line. In males it weighs from 1.4 to 1.6 kg; in females from 1.2 to 1.4 kg. Its greatest transverse measurement is 20 to 22.5cm. Its consistence is that of a soft solid; it is friable, easily lacerated, and highly vascular. It is dark reddish brown in color and has a specific gravity of 1.05.