Introduction. The techniques of split liver transplantation and transplanting organs from living donors require a thorough anatomical knowledge of biliary drainage, and this is an important factor in preventing complications.
Methods. forty-five human livers were used to perform this study.
Measurements were made between the confluence of the right hepatic duct (RHD) and the left hepatic duct (LHD) and among the following structures: the venous ligament, the vertex of the confluence of the duct of segment II (DSll) and the duct of segment III (DSIII), the insertion of the duct of the segment I (DSI) and the duct of segment IV (DSIV).
Then the distance between the vertex of the confluence of DSII and DSIII and the ligamentum venosum was checked.
Results. The LHD had less anatomical variation than the RHD. Four drainage patterns were established for the left lobe, and pattern l, in which the confluence of DSll and DSIII is to the left of the ligamentum venosum, is considered to be the most constant one. A single duct of the confluence of DSll and DSIII was found 1, 2 and 2.5 cm to the right of the ligamentum venosum in 65%, 80%, and 95% of the cases, respectively.
Conclusion. It was possible to show evidence of four drainage patterns of the left anatomical lobe of the liver. Furthermore, it was possible to establish the ligamentum venosum as an anatomical reference for locating the confluences of the ducts of the left liver segments.