The liver is the largest gland in the body occupying 2.5% of total body weight and providing a host of functions necessary for maintaining normal physiological homeostasis. Despite the complexity of its functions, the liver has a homogenous appearance, making hepatic anatomy a challenging topic of discussion. To address this issue, scholars have devoted time to establishing a framework for describing hepatic anatomy to aid clinicians. Work by the anatomist Sir James Cantlie provided the first accurate division between the right and left liver in 1897. The French surgeon and anatomist Claude Couinaud provided additional insight by introducing the Couinaud segments on the basis of hepatic vasculature. These fundamental studies provided a framework for medical and surgical discussions of hepatic anatomy and were essential for the advancement of modern medicine. In this article, the authors review the normal anatomy and physiology of the liver with a view to enhancing the clinician's knowledge base. They also provide a convenient model to assist with understanding and discussion of liver anatomy.
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