The rarity of hepatic infarction in the human being is commonly explained as due to the double blood supply via the hepatic artery and the portal vein. This explanation cannot be accepted, because, if the arterial blood supply alone is arrested the portal blood supply does not protect the liver from infarction. The factor of importance is that the arterial blood supply comes by three different routes and it is difficult to obstruct these collateral supplies simultaneously. Infarction of the liver can be caused by thrombosis or ligation of the main hepatic artery between the origin of the right gastric artery and the hilum of the liver, but the more common causes are infected emboli or polyarteritis nodosa; these presumably interfere not only with the main arterial supply but also with some of the collateral arterial supply.
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