The role of blood flow in the control of liver size
Mitral Valve Insufficiency
Recent reports by Starzl [T. E. Starzl], A. Francavilla, C. G. Halgrimson, F. R. Francavilla, K. A. Porter, T. H. Brown, and C. W. Putman, Surg. Gynecol. Obstet. 137: 179, 1973; T. E. Starzl, K. A. Porter, N. Kashiwagi, I. Y. Lee, W. J. I. Russell, and C. W. Putnam, Surg. Gynecol. Obstet. 140: 549, 1975] have described a splanchnic flow division experiment in the dog, in which portal blood from the upper gastrointestinal tract (including pancreas) was directed to the right lobes of the liver, while the left lobes received blood exclusively from the intestines via a vein graft. It was shown that the right lobes increased in weight, whereas the left lobes atrophied, and it was concluded that portal blood contains hepatotrophic factors of pancreatic origin. In the present experiments, the possible existence of differences in blood flow in the two hepatic segments was examined as an alternative explanation for the changes observed. Tissue perfusion was measured by 85Kr clearance in the right and left hepatic lobes of five dogs 60 days after splanchnic division, and it was found that there was no difference between the flows through the two segments, while changes in liver weight similar to those of the previous workers were seen. The results therefore confirm the observations of Starzl that the size of the liver depends on its portal circulation, and is mainly related to the quality of the blood that it supplies to the liver rather than on quantity of flow. © 1979.
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