The liver’s capsule, lled Glisson’s capsule, which surrounds the liver, is structurally characterised by its position around the liver and its extension into the liver along the portal triad.

It consists of an inner fibrous layer and an outer serosal layer and also forms a loose capsule around the liver lobule.

Glisson’s capsule is functionally characterized as a support and protective barrier for the portal triad and the liver lobule serving to support the fine reticular network within the lobule.



The liver capsule

This image reveals the two layers of the liver capsule. The inner white layer is the fibrous component and closely adheres to the liver parenchyma. The outer serous coat is reflected at various locations of the liver including the bare area where only the fibrous coat is seen (posterolateral aspect behind the IVC). At the porta hepatis, the two coats form Glisson’s capsule, which surrounds the portal triads. (Image courtesy of Ashley Davidoff M.D.)

The liver is fully invested by a serous and a fibrous coat. The serous coat derives from the peritoneum, and covers the greater part of the surface of the organ. The fibrous coat lies beneath the serous coat, and covers the entire surface of the organ. It is difficult to see, except in cases where the serous coat is deficient.

Inner layer

The inner layer is the fibrous component of the essentially two layered capsule structurally characterised by its intimacy to the liver parenchyma functionally characterised by strong protective nature arising from the mesenchymal origins dividing into the bundle of fascia in combination with the outer capsule to form an enclosing fascia for the portal triad common diseases include congestion and inflammation clinical presentation pain diagnostic studies include US Angio treatment is commonly by symptomatic and medical treatment of underlying liver disease


Outer layer

The outer capsule



Liver capsule
  (Image courtesy of Ashley Davidoff M.D.)


The liver capsule is exposed to diseases that occur in both the peritoneal cavity as well as the liver itself. Metastatic ovarian, (and to lesser extent gastric and pancreatic) carcinoma spread through and via the peritoneum and metastatic deposits are frequently encountered on the liver capsule. Congestion or inflammation of the liver parenchyma, particularly when severe will result in structural changes in the capsule. Amebic abscess of the liver is an aggressive disease that characteristically destroys the liver capsule as it burrows its way through the diaphragm and into the lung parenchyma. capsule that surrounds the portal triad structurally characterized being the intrahepatic extension of the liver capsule consisting of serosal outer and fibroelastic inner capsule. It also forms a loose capsule around the liver lobule. Functionally characterised as a support and protective barrier for the portal triad and the liver lobule serving to support the fine reticular network within the lobule disease from the peritoneal cavity may spread within the portal triad within the lymphatics, or within its spaces

The liver capsule is incomplete between lobules Glisson’s capsule that surrounds portal triad and consists of loose connective-tissue that eventually exits at the hilum to surround the liver – the liver capsule of fibro-elastic tissue


clinical correlate of the liver capsule symptoms, pain capsule is sensitive to pain and acute distension may give rise to pain caused by acute fatty change acute congestion auscultation in disease of the capsule a friction rub may be felt or heard pelvic inflammatory disease (Fitz – Hugh – Curtis disease) liver capsule may be involved with RUQ pain

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