Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hemochromatosis Anatomy

To better understand hemochromatosis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the liver.

The liver is located in the upper right abdomen. It is necessary to help digest food and remove toxins such as alcohol from the blood. Without a liver, a person would die in a matter of days.

Functions of the liver include:

  • Filters toxins from the bloodstream
  • Makes cholesterol
  • Processes waste products from cells
  • Produces bile, which helps digest food
  • Regulates blood clotting
  • Stores glucose
  • Stores iron

Anatomy examples:
  • Location of the liver in the abdomen
  • Liver, gallbladder and bile ducts
  • Front view of liver
  • Bottom view of liver

Pancreas Anatomy
The pancreas is located deep in the abdomen behind the stomach.

The pancreas produces digestive enzymes that are delivered into the upper intestines. These enzymes allow food to be broken down and absorbed. The pancreas also produces insulin, which is released into the bloodstream. This hormone is essential for the control of blood sugar.

Pancreas anatomy:
  • Location of pancreas inside abdomen
  • Cutaway view of pancreas and duodenum
  • Diagram of pancreas and nearby structures
  • Pancreas anatomy with diagram of beta cells

Continue to Hemochromatosis Genetics

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hemochromatosis References
  1. Adams PC, Reboussin DM, Barton JC, et al.; Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study Research Investigators. Hemochromatosis and iron-overload screening in a racially diverse population. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 28;352(17):1769-78. [15858186]
  2. Franchini M, Veneri D. Hereditary hemochromatosis. Hematology. 2005 Apr;10(2):145-9. [16019461]
  3. Kowdley KV. Iron, hemochromatosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Gastroenterology. 2004 Nov;127(5 Suppl 1):S79-86. [15508107]
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