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open access eISSN 2093-3673

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Case Report

Anat Cell Biol 2023; 56(4): 579-583

Published online December 31, 2023


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

A marginal branch of the left hepatic artery running along the umbilical vein and supplying the anterior surface of the liver left lobe: a report of 5 cases in 12 Japanese human fetuses

Ji Hyun Kim1 , Shogo Hayashi2 , Gen Murakami3 , José Francisco Rodríguez-Vázquez4 , Hiroshi Abe5

1Department of Anatomy, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea, 2Department of Anatomy, Division of Basic Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, 3Division of Internal Medicine, Cupid Clinic, Iwamizawa, Japan, 4Department of Anatomy and Embryology, School of Medicine, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain, 5Department of Anatomy, Akita University School of Medicine, Akita, Japan

Correspondence to:Ji Hyun Kim
Department of Anatomy, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, 20 Geonji-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju 54907, Korea
E-mail: 407kk@hanmail.net

Received: April 3, 2023; Revised: June 15, 2023; Accepted: July 17, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In human fetuses, the left hepatic artery (LHA) issues the marginal artery that runs along the umbilical vein and, sometimes, reaches the umbilicus. The further observation demonstrated that, in 5 of 12 Japanese midterm fetuses (crown-rump length mm: 46, 50, 54, 59, 102), the marginal artery issued not only a thin umbilical branch but also a liver parenchymal branch that took a posterosuperior recurrent course in a peritoneal fold and supplied the anterior surface of the liver left lobe (segment III). However, in 22 Spanish fetuses of which gestational ages corresponded to the Japanese ones, we did not find the parenchymal branch. Therefore, between human populations, there seemed to be a considerable difference in the incidence as to whether or not the marginal artery issues the liver parenchymal branch. The parenchymal branch might be degenerated at the later stages due to friction between the liver free surface and growing diaphragm.

Keywords: Left hepatic artery, Umbilical vein, Appendix fibrosa hepatis, Coronary ligament, Human fetus

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