Variations in anatomy of the middle hepatic vein and their impact on formal right hepatectomy

I. R. Kamel, L. P. Lawler, E. K. Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: We evaluated the incidence of variations of the middle hepatic vein (MHV) branches and their impact on formal right hepatectomy for living-donor liver transplantation. Methods: Fifty consecutive patients who underwent hepatic multidetector row computed tomography (CT) were evaluated. Three-dimensional volume rendering techniques were used to evaluate the different branching patterns of the MHV. An incision plane was constructed to simulate a formal hepatectomy along Cantlie's line, immediately to the right of the MHV. The number of transected vessels was recorded by consensus of two observers. Results: In 11 patients (22%) the MHV had no major (>5 mm) branches. In 15 patients (30%) a major branch was seen draining the right lobe, and in 10 patients (20%) a major branch was seen draining each lobe. In five patients (10%) two major branches were seen draining the right lobe and a single branch draining the left lobe. The remaining nine patients (18%) had other variations, including one patient (2%) with the right hepatic vein arising from the MHV. A formal hepatectomy along Cantlie's line was truly avascular in 15 patients (30%). Conclusion: A formal right hepatectomy can be performed without transecting major branches of the MHV in one-third of patients. In the remaining two-thirds, one or more major branch of the MHV will need be transected. Preoperative knowledge of these variations is critical for surgical planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-674
Number of pages7
JournalAbdominal Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Computed tomography
  • Hepatic venous anatomy
  • Image processing
  • Liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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