Cholecystic venous anatomy: A cadaveric study with implications for portal venous interruption procedure

Merab Sareli, Alex Zendel, Aviram Nissan, Douglas Zippel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The techniques of portal vein embolization (PVE) or ligation (PVL) have the goals of combining an induced atrophy of metastatic segments with the rapid relative compensatory hypertrophy of the postresection future liver remnant (FLR). Our study examines the anatomy of right-left hepatic lobar venous connections in the adult cadaver using corrosion cast analysis in an effort to define some of the inherent anatomical reasons why both PVL and PVE may be technically unsuccessful. Corrosion cast models of 215 cadaveric liver specimens were evaluated for hepatopetal venous blood flow, with a particular emphasis on cholecystic venous drainage patterns, including 57 cases prepared after lobar portal venous ligation. In 88.8 per cent of corrosion casts, there was a segmental venous communication between the gallbladder and all segments of the liver, except segment II. There was cystic vein drainage directly into a main lobar branch or directly into the portal vein itself in 11.2 per cent of cases. In all 57 cases, after portal lobar venous division, in situ cystic veins allowed persistent venous communication between lobes. Our cadaveric corrosion cast study has suggested that there is extensive intrahepatic cholecystic venous drainage to many segments of the liver. Perfusion from the gallbladder may potentially contribute to a limited response to procedures which interrupt the portal venous flow and could affect their capacity to induce an adequate FLR which would permit a wider hepatectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


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