Bare area of the liver

The bare area of the liver (nonperitoneal area) is a large triangular area on the diaphragmatic surface of the liver, devoid of peritoneal covering. It is attached directly to the diaphragm by loose connective tissue.[1]

Bare area of the liver
Vertical disposition of the peritoneum. Main cavity, red; omental bursa, blue (bare area of the liver labeled at right, second from the top)
The liver, as seen from behind. The bare area is visible on the upper-right, labeled as nonperitoneal surface
LatinArea nuda hepatis
Anatomical terminology

The coronary ligament represent reflections of the visceral peritoneum covering the liver onto the diaphragm. As such, between the two layers of the coronary ligament lies the bare area of the liver, and this is attached to the diaphragm by areolar tissue.

The bare area of the liver is still covered by Glisson's capsule, the fibrous capsule that sheathes the entire liver.

Clinical significance

The bare area of the liver is clinically important because of the portacaval anastomosis and it represents a site where infection can spread from the abdominal cavity to the thoracic cavity.It is important because it encloses the right extra peritoneal subphrenic space.


  1. Abdel-Misih, Sherif R. Z.; Bloomston, Mark (August 2010). "Liver Anatomy". Surgical Clinics of North America. 90 (4): 643–653. doi:10.1016/j.suc.2010.04.017. PMC 4038911.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1150 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

Additional images

  • Anatomy photo:38:10-0201 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Stomach, Spleen and Liver: Ligaments of the Liver"
  • liver at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University)

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