liver


liver
liver1
liverless, adj.
/liv"euhr/, n.
1. Anat. a large, reddish-brown, glandular organ located in the upper right side of the abdominal cavity, divided by fissures into five lobes and functioning in the secretion of bile and various metabolic processes.
2. an organ in other animals similar to the human liver, often used as food.
3. a diseased condition of the liver; biliousness: a touch of liver.
4. a reddish-brown color.
5. a rubberlike, irreversible thickening suspension occurring in paint, ink, etc., due to a chemical reaction between a colloidal pigment and a vehicle or as a result of polymerization of the vehicle.
adj.
6. of the color of liver.
v.i.
7. (of paint, ink, etc.) to undergo irreversible thickening.
[bef. 900; ME; OE lifer, c. D lever, G Leber, ON lifr; perh. akin to Gk liparós fat]
liver2
/liv"euhr/, n.
1. a person who lives in a manner specified: an extravagant liver.
2. a dweller or resident; inhabitant.
[1325-75; ME; see LIVE1, -ER1]
liver3
/luy"veuhr/, adj.
comparative of live2.

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Largest gland in the body, with several lobes.

It secretes bile; metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; stores glycogen, vitamins, and other substances; synthesizes coagulation factors; removes wastes and toxic matter from the blood; regulates blood volume; and destroys old red blood cells. The portal vein carries blood from the gastrointestinal tract, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen to the liver to be processed. A duct system carries bile from the liver to the duodenum and the gallbladder. Liver tissue consists of a mass of cells tunneled with bile ducts and blood vessels. About 60% are hepatic cells, which have more metabolic functions than any other cells. A second type, Kupffer cells, play a role in blood-cell formation, antibody production, and ingestion of foreign particles and cell debris. The liver manufactures plasma proteins, including albumin and clotting factors, and synthesizes enzymes that modify substances such as nutrients and toxins, filtered from the blood. Liver disorders include jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, tumours, vascular obstruction, abscess, and glycogen-storage diseases.

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  the largest gland in the body, a spongy mass of wedge-shaped lobes that has many metabolic and secretory functions. The liver secretes bile, a digestive fluid; metabolizes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; stores glycogen, vitamins, and other substances; synthesizes blood-clotting factors; removes wastes and toxic matter from the blood; regulates blood volume; and destroys old red blood cells.

 Liver tissue consists of a mass of cells tunneled through with bile ducts and blood vessels. Hepatic cells make up about 60 percent of the tissue and perform more metabolic functions than any other group of cells in the body. A second group of cells, called Kupffer cells (Kupffer cell), line the smallest channels of the liver's vascular system and play a role in blood formation, antibody production, and ingestion of foreign particles and cellular debris.

      Each day the liver secretes about 800 to 1,000 ml (about 1 quart) of bile, which contains bile salts needed for the digestion of fats in the diet. Bile is also the medium for excretion of certain metabolic waste products, drugs, and toxic substances. From the liver a duct system carries bile to the common bile duct, which empties into the duodenum of the small intestine and which connects with the gallbladder, where it is concentrated and stored. The presence of fat in the duodenum stimulates the flow of bile out of the gallbladder and into the small intestine. Senescent (worn-out) red blood cells are destroyed in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. A pigment, bilirubin, formed in the process of hemoglobin breakdown, is released into the bile, creating its characteristic greenish orange colour, and is excreted from the body through the intestine.

      The liver cells synthesize a number of enzymes. As blood flows through the liver, both from the portal vein and from the hepatic artery, the cells and enzymes are filtered. Nutrients entering the liver from the intestine are modified into forms that are usable by the body cells or are stored for future use. Fats are converted into fatty acids and then into carbohydrates or ketone bodies and transported by the blood to the tissues, where they are further metabolized. Sugars are converted into glycogen, which remains stored in the liver until it is needed for energy production; it is then reconverted into glucose and released into the bloodstream. The liver manufactures blood serum proteins, including albumin and several clotting factors, and supplies them to the blood. The liver also metabolizes nitrogenous waste products and detoxifies poisonous substances, preparing them for elimination in the urine or feces.

      A common sign of impaired liver function is jaundice, a yellowness of the eyes and skin arising from excessive bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice can result from an abnormally high level of red blood cell (erythrocyte) destruction (hemolytic jaundice), defective uptake or transport of bilirubin by the hepatic cells (hepatocellular jaundice), or a blockage in the bile duct system (obstructive jaundice). Failure of hepatic cells to function can result from hepatitis, cirrhosis, tumour (liver cancer)s, vascular obstruction, or poisoning. Symptoms may include weakness, low blood pressure, easy bruising and bleeding, tremor, and accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. Blood tests can reveal abnormal levels of bilirubin, cholesterol, serum proteins, urea, ammonia, and various enzymes. A specific diagnosis of a liver problem can be established by performing a needle biopsy.

      The liver is subject to a variety of other disorders and diseases. Abscesses can be caused by acute appendicitis; those occurring in the bile ducts may result from gallstones or may follow surgery. The parasite that causes amebic dysentery in the tropics can produce liver abscesses as well. Various other parasites prevalent in different parts of the world also infect the liver. liver cancer is common, occurring mostly as secondary tumours originating elsewhere in the body. Glycogen-storage diseases (glycogen storage disease), a group of hereditary disorders, generate a buildup of glycogen in the liver and an insufficient supply of glucose in the blood. Certain drugs may damage the liver, producing jaundice.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Liver — Liv er, n. [AS. lifer; akin to D. liver, G. leber, OHG. lebara, Icel. lifr, Sw. lefver, and perh. to Gr. ? fat, E. live, v.] (Anat.) A very large glandular and vascular organ in the visceral cavity of all vertebrates. [1913 Webster] Note: Most of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Liver — Liv er, n. 1. One who, or that which, lives. [1913 Webster] And try if life be worth the liver s care. Prior. [1913 Webster] 2. A resident; a dweller; as, a liver in Brooklyn. [1913 Webster] 3. One whose course of life has some marked… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • liver — liver1 [liv′ər] n. [ME livere < OE lifer, akin to Ger leber < ? IE base * leip , to smear with fat > Gr liparos, fat] 1. the largest glandular organ in vertebrate animals, located in the upper or anterior part of the abdomen: it secretes …   English World dictionary

  • Liver — von 1900 Liver von 1900 Liver ist eine ehem …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • liver — ► NOUN 1) a large organ in the abdomen that secretes bile and neutralizes toxins. 2) the flesh of an animal s liver as food. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • Liver — Liv er (l[i^]v [ e]r), n. (Zo[ o]l.) The glossy ibis ({Ibis falcinellus}); said to have given its name to the city of Liverpool. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Liver — For other uses, see Liver (disambiguation). Liver Liver of a sheep: (1) right lobe, (2) left lobe, (3) caudate lobe, (4) quadrate lobe, (5) hepatic artery and portal vein, (6) hepatic lymph nodes, (7) gall bladder …   Wikipedia

  • liver — The largest gland of the body, lying beneath the diaphragm in the right hypochondrium and upper part of the epigastric region; it is of irregular shape and weighs from 1–2 kg, or about 140 the weight of the body. As an exocrine gland it secretes …   Medical dictionary

  • liver — 1. n. 1 a a large lobed glandular organ in the abdomen of vertebrates, functioning in many metabolic processes including the regulation of toxic materials in the blood, secreting bile, etc. b a similar organ in other animals. 2 the flesh of an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • liver — noun 1 organ in the body ADJECTIVE ▪ diseased, enlarged, fatty ▪ healthy, normal ▪ donor ▪ a nationwide appeal for a donor liver …   Collocations dictionary


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