The hepatic bridge

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2018 Jul;44(7):1083-1086. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2018.03.031. Epub 2018 Apr 11.


Background: The hepatic bridge forms a tunnel of liver parenchyma that may obscure peritoneal metastases associated with the round ligament. Visualization and then resection of nodules associated with this structure is necessary.

Materials and methods: The incidence of a hepatic bridge and the extent that it covered the round ligament was determined in consecutive patients. Extent of coverage of the round ligament by the hepatic bridge was determined: Class 1 indicates up to one-third of the round ligament obscured, Class 2 up to two-thirds and Class 3 more than two-thirds.

Results: In 102 patients in whom the round ligament of the liver could be completely visualized, 50 had a hepatic bridge. Class 1 was 22 (44%) of the bridges, Class 2 was 16 (32%) and Class 3 was 12 (24%). A hepatic bridge was more frequently present in 28 of 45 male patients (62%) vs. 22 of 57 female patients (38%).

Conclusions: Approximately one-half of our patients having cytoreductive surgery for peritoneal metastases were observed to have a hepatic bridge. Up to 56% of these patients have Class 2 or 3 hepatic bridge and may require division of the hepatic bridge to completely visualize the contents of the tunnel created by this structure.

Keywords: Biliary obstruction; Cytoreductive surgery; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC); Left hepatic duct; Peritoneal tunnel.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomic Variation*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma / secondary
  • Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Liver / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Peritoneum / anatomy & histology*
  • Round Ligament of Liver / anatomy & histology*
  • Sarcoma / secondary
  • Sarcoma / therapy*
  • Sex Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents