The intralobar and subcapsular areas of human liver were compared in terms of morphometry and morphology, and a correlation was made between the thickness of liver capsules and the amount of intralobar non-parenchyma in normal and diseased livers. Tissue was systematically sampled from 16 normal and 26 fibrotic livers taken at necropsy. The volume fraction of subcapsular and intralobar non-parenchyma and the capsule thickness were determined by morphometry on histological sections. The volume fraction of intralobar non-parenchyma not only correlated well (tau = 0.7, p less than 0.001) with but was also equivalent in each case to the actual volume fraction of subcapsular non-parenchyma. Morphologically, the intralobar and subcapsular areas were remarkably similar. The volume fraction of intralobar non-parenchyma also correlated well (tau = 0.5, p less than 0.001) with capsule thickness. These results show that pathological changes in liver architecture were essentially similar in the intralobar and subcapsular areas and that capsule thickness reflected intralobar non-parenchymal changes.
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