In the case of arterial emboli, most organs will infarct and cease to function. However, the dual blood supply may allow the tissue to remain oxygenated and preserve function.
- The liver benefits from the dual blood supply.
- The hepatic portal vein supplies ~ 75% of the liver’s blood, and the hepatic artery proper contributes the rest.
- The hepatic portal vein carries venous blood from the spleen and lower gastrointestinal tract, while the hepatic arteries are branches of the common hepatic artery arising from the celiac trunk.
- Oxygen is provided from both sources with about half of the liver’s oxygen demand met by the hepatic portal vein. The dual blood and oxygen supply protects the liver against potential infarct.