A preoperative understanding of the anatomy of the hepatic veins and any variation thereof is pivotal for successful hepatic surgeries, as these vessels serve as a hepatic field guideline in living donor liver transplantations (LDLT) and hepatic resections. To date, numerous morphological variations in different populations other than a South African population have been published and thus the following research study was conducted to investigate and document morphological variations in a South African population. The following descriptive study aimed to contribute to a better preoperative understanding of hepatic vein anatomy impacting surgeries conducted in South Africa. This research study was conducted on 40 livers from donated bodies of 20 females and 20 males, used for academic purposes in the Department of Human Biology, at the University of Cape Town. The age range was between 33 to 105 years old with an average age of 75. The livers were removed, and the liver tissue was scraped away to expose the hepatic veins from their origin of the inferior vena cava (IVC) to their terminating branching points within the various hepatic segments. All the livers presented all three major hepatic veins, 90.0% of the livers had a common trunk (n = 36), and the remaining 10.0% had no common trunk (n = 4). The major and minor hepatic veins were observed for all the livers. This study found various morphological variations in a South African population that are of clinical significance with a high prevalence of accessory right hepatic veins.
Leoné Pretorius, Geney Gunston, Kentse Mpolokeng
Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Eur. J. Anat.
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)