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    What is the function of liver in the human body?

    Wondering about the function of liver? Find answers to all your queries on this page.

    Generally, people know about the functions of the internal organs like heart, kidneys and lungs etc. However, little is known to the common people about the functions of the liver inside the human body. What is the function of liver in the human body? Is transplantation of liver also is possible?
    Experts: do respond.
  • #138681
    Liver in human body is second largest organ after skin and is largest gland of body. It is located below diaphragm and is almost 3 pounds in weight. It consists of 4 lobes which are right, left, caudate and quadrate. Hepatic portal vein in known to supply blood to liver. It is made up of 1,00,000 lobules and each lobule consists of 6 hepatic portal veins, 6 hepatic arteries and a central vein.

    Functions of liver:-
    1) Digestion-
    The liver produces bile juice, which is stored in the gall bladder after being passed through bile ducts. Food when reaches duodenum, gallbladder is stimulated to release bile juice, which it has stored. Bile reaches duodenum and masticates large chunks of fat by emulsification procedure to convert them into smaller pieces which further gets digested in different organs of the body.

    2) Detoxification-
    Cells of liver are known as hepatocytes and they are responsible for the elimination of toxic materials from the blood when it passes through the hepatic portal circulation. Liver too is responsible for metabolism of body's hormones.

    3) Generation-
    Blood is made up of many important protein elements and liver is responsible for production of many of such proteins like fibrinogen and prothrombin which are responsible for blood clot and albumin which is responsible for keeping isotonic environment of the body stable.

    4) Metabolism-
    Liver is responsible for metabolism or breakdown of many complex elements of food like carbohydrates, fats and proteins into simpler digestible compounds which can easily be absorbed by body. Hepatocytes which are known as cells of liver are responsible for maintaining homeostatis and thereby protects from abrupt decrease in blood glucose level of body.

    5) Immunity-
    Liver allows kupffer cells which line sinusoids to clean large amount of blood when it passes through hepatic portal circulation. These cells are known for capturing and digesting various types of bacteria's, viruses, fungi and other parasites along with cell debris.

    6) Storage-
    Liver stores glucose in the form of polysaccharide glycogen. Various vitamins like A, D, E, K and B12 along with minerals like iron and copper is stored in liver. From liver these vitamins and minerals are constantly supplied to various tissues of the body system.

    Liver Transplantation:-
    Yes, liver transplantation is possible and practiced world wide. It is also known as hepatic transplantation. Sometimes liver gets deceased due to various reasons and these situations demand a transplant. Thus from a healthy person either whole or small part of liver is transplanted. It is also known as allograft.

    Indications for liver transplantation:-
    1) Acute liver disease,
    2) Chronic liver disease,
    3) Cirrhosis of liver,
    4) Acute liver failure,
    5) Liver cancer etc.....

    Contraindications for liver transplantation:-
    1) Metastatic cancer which is developed outside liver and is uncontrollable,
    2) Heart ailments,
    3) Lung diseases,
    4) Old age,
    5) Septic infections,
    6) Active drug abuse,
    7) Active alcohol abuse etc.....

    Technique of liver transplantation:-
    Operation consists of 3 phases-
    1) Hepatectomy- It is a phase in which liver is removed.
    2) Anhepatic phase- It is a phase in which no liver is present in body.
    3) Postimplantation phase- It is a phase in which new liver or part of it gets implanted in the body.
    A large cut is made in upper abdomen. Ligaments which are attached to liver are all divided. Hepatic artery, hepatic vein and the most important common bile duct are all divided. Allograft or new liver is implanted in body. Hepatic artery, portal vein and inferior vena cava are connected to restore blood flow. Blood flow to new liver is restored.

    Types of liver transplantation:-
    1) Pediatric liver transplantation-
    A small part of liver from an adult is transplanted to a child.
    2) Split liver transplantation-
    One liver is transplanted to two individuals by splitting it into portions and both of them grows back to its original size and function normally.
    3) Living donor liver transplantation-
    20% of liver is transplanted.
    4) Non living donor liver transplantation-
    Complete liver from non living person is transplanted to a person whose liver is deceased.

  • #138713
    Liver is the largest body gland. Its a major organ in the body which supports nearly every other organ in the body. Liver's main work is to filter the blood coming from the digestive path before the blood passes to the rest of the parts of body. It also detoxifies chemicals and metabolises drugs. The liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. It also destroys old red blood cells (called RBC's)

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