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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 1419545, 11 pages
Research Article

An Imaging and Histological Study on Intrahepatic Microvascular Passage of Contrast Materials in Rat Liver

1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 160 Pu Jian Road, Shanghai 200127, China
2Department of Imaging and Pathology, University Hospitals, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Correspondence should be addressed to Yicheng Ni; eb.nevueluk@in.gnehciy

Received 2 October 2016; Accepted 15 January 2017; Published 15 February 2017

Academic Editor: Martin G. Mack

Copyright © 2017 Qian Xia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Lipiodol has been applied for decades in transarterial chemoembolization to treat liver malignancies, but its intrahepatic pathway through arterioportal shunt (APS) in the liver has not been histologically revealed. This rodent experiment was conducted to provide evidence for the pathway of Lipiodol delivered through the hepatic artery (HA) but found in the portal vein (PV) and to elucidate the observed unidirectional APS. Methods. Thirty rats were divided into 5 groups receiving systemic or local arterial infusion of red-stained iodized oil (RIO) or its hydrosoluble substitute barium sulfate suspension (BSS), or infusion of BSS via the PV, monitored by real-time digital radiography. Histomorphology of serial frozen and paraffin sections was performed and quantified. Results. After HA infusion, RIO and BSS appeared extensively in PV lumens with peribiliary vascular plexus (PVP) identified as the responsible anastomotic channel. After PV infusion, BSS appeared predominantly in the PV and surrounding sinusoids and to a much lesser extent in the PVP and HA (). Fluid mechanics well explains the one-way-valve phenomenon of APS. Conclusions. Intravascularly injected rat livers provide histomorphologic evidences: (1) the PVP exists in between the HA and PV, which is responsible to the APS of Lipiodol; and (2) the intrahepatic vascular inflow appears HA-PVP-PV unidirectional without a physical one-way valve, which can be postulated by the fluid mechanics.