Accessory hepatic sulci

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 22 Nov 2023

Accessory hepatic grooves (also known as accessory hepatic fissures or accessory hepatic sulci) are a common anatomic variant, with majority of accessory grooves occurring over the diaphragmatic surface of the liver 1,2.

Several hypotheses have been made regarding the process by which an accessory grove forms, however no leading theory has been formally proven. Some literature postulates that the invaginations are formed by indentations by the diaphragm, whilst other theories propose that such grooves occur at the late stage of diaphragmatic growth as a postnatal event 3,4.

Accessory grooves are understood to be "pseudo" fissures, in that they that do not truly subdivide the liver into further segments 2.

Accessory hepatic grooves has an incidence of up to 30-40% of people, with suggestion that hepatic grooves increase in occurrence with increasing age 3.

Accessory hepatic grooves are asymptomatic.

Accessory hepatic grooves can form over any surface of the liver, however most commonly form over the superior diaphragmatic surface 3-5. In cadaveric analysis, such grooves can be up to 2 cm in size, with the potential to mimic liver nodules on CT 5.

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