Anatomy and Embryology of the Liver

  • Sergio MoriniEmail author
  • Guido Carpino
  • Simone Carotti
  • Eugenio Gaudio


This chapter deals in the first part with the anatomy of the liver, highlighting in particular the clinical anatomy and the relevant morphological aspects of practical interest to the physician, including the presence of the most frequent anatomical variations. Particular emphasis is given to the vascular organization that determines the subdivision into segments, whose understanding is fundamental in clinical diagnostics and in surgical practice. In the second part of the chapter the phenomena related to the morphogenesis of the liver are described in order to show the peculiar organization of the liver both at a macroscopic level and at a structural level. Moreover, the recent acquisitions on key signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying the complex tissue interactions in hepatogenesis are briefly described. Due to the central regulatory role of the liver in many metabolic functions, this knowledge form the basis for the modern approaches to gene and molecular therapy of the liver. They may also contribute to understand how to promote liver regeneration, to engineer the replacement of functional liver tissues, or how to lead to therapeutically useful tissue for transplantation.


Liver anatomy Portal vein Liver segmentation Biliary tract Liver embryology Liver development Hepatocytes Cholangiocytes 



Thanks are due to Mr. Francesco Mastrostefano for his help in the artwork generation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio Morini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guido Carpino
    • 2
  • Simone Carotti
    • 1
  • Eugenio Gaudio
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity Campus Bio-Medico of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Motor, Human and Health SciencesUniversity of Rome “Foro Italico”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Anatomical, Histological, Locomotor and Legal Medicine SciencesSapienza UniversityRomeItaly

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