The incidence of cirrhosis, the end stage for many liver diseases, is rising and with it the need for better understanding of the progression of the disease and diagnostic techniques. The authors have noted that liver disease occurs preferentially in the right side of the liver which is the largest lobe. One hypothesis is that this is due to the composition of the blood that supplies the right lobe. The liver is fed by both the hepatic artery and the portal vein with the portal vein contributing about 80% of the blood supply. The portal vein (PV) is supplied by the superior mesenteric vein (SMV), which drains blood from the digestive track, and the splenic vein (SV), which drains blood from the spleen. Since the blood in the SMV is coming from the digestive track, it carries toxins and items absorbed during digestion. Toxins such as alcohol are known to damage the liver. Thus, our hypothesis is that the majority of the SMV flow feeds into the right portal vein and ultimately the right lobe of the liver. This study seeks to assess the validity of our hypothesis in four subjects by creating subject specific models in two normal subjects and two patients and using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to calculate the SMV contribution to the right portal vein.

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