Scanning Microscopy


Unique spiral structures, located in the wall of the hepatic venous system in the dog, were examined in the central veins and the hepatic venous branches, utilizing microvascular corrosion casting and freeze-fracture technique in scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy of tissue sections. The whole hepatic venous system was divided into 4 portions: the central, sublobular, collecting and branches of the hepatic veins. The central vein was spindle-shaped with several compressions. Removing the endothelial cells of the central vein, pathways of venous sinusoids were like a labyrinth. In the sublobular veins, spiral structures distinctly appeared as the diameter increased. Beneath the endothelial cells in the constricted portions, smooth muscle bundles were found. The spiral structures gradually became irregular in the collecting veins and discontinuous to form shallow constrictions in cast thicker branches of the intrahepatic veins. A single, fine spindle of the central vein was formed by the arrangement of liver cells. The spiral structures of the sublobular vein were formed by smooth muscle bundles. Irregularity of the spiral structures in the collecting veins was caused by smooth muscle bundles anastomosing with adjacent ones. Disappearance of the spiral structure in cast thicker branches of the intrahepatic veins was due to absence of muscle bundles.

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