Lobule of Pig Liver
Liver lobules are clearly defined in pig liver. Each lobule is neatly outlined by an envelope of fibrous connective tissue. This connective tissue interconnects adjacent portal areas.
This tough connective tissue is one reason why pig liver, unlike calf liver or chicken liver, is not a popular menu item.
The boundaries between lobules are not so clearly defined in human liver, which normally lacks connective tissue in regions between portal areas.
In human liver, the appearance of connective tissue extending out from portal areas is pathological, the defining characteristic of cirrhosis (sclerosis / fibrosis / scarring of liver), in which damaged hepatic tissue is replaced by scar tissue (fibrous connective tissue).
For images of cirrhosis, see WebPath or Milikowski & Berman's Color Atlas of Basic Histopathology, pp. 284ff.
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Last updated: 25 January 2002 / dgk