Why is the hepatic portal vein important?

1 Answer
Sep 26, 2016

The hepatic portal vein is a blood vessel that carries blood from the gastrointestinal tract and spleen to the liver.


It is of major importance as approximately 3/4th of the hepatic blood flow is derived from the hepatic portal vein ( the remainder from haptic arteries ) .

The hepatic portal vein supplies the liver with metabolic substrate and it ensures that substances ingested are first processed by the liver before reaching the systemic circulation.

In this process ingested toxins can be detoxified by the hepatocytes before they are released in the systemic circulation.

The hepatic portal vein also ensures that the liver is the first organ to absorb nutrients just taken in by the intestines.

The hepatic portal vein is not a true vein because it conducts blood to capillary beds in the liver and not directly into the heart.