JOSE CALVO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOSE CALVO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of the parenchyma of a liver affected by diffuse and very intense fatty degeneration (steatosis). Hepatocytes (liver cells) are loaded with fat (white), which forms a large single droplet that occupies most of the cell volume. Overall, the appearance of the liver parenchyma is strongly reminiscent of adipose (fat) tissue. The most common cause of this condition is heavy alcohol consumption, which disturbs normal fat metabolism. It can also be caused by toxins, diabetes and pregnancy. Steatosis is reversible by treating the underlying cause. The structure visible in the centre of the image is a portal tract. Stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Magnification: x90 when printed at 10 centimetres across.
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