Anatomical position of liver

The liver is positioned immediately below the right hemidiaphragm, occupying most of the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. A small part of it also extends into the left upper quadrant. 

Overall, the liver is protected by the thoracic cage, as the lower margin of the liver corresponds to the lower border of the rib cage. It is also normal if the lower borderline of the liver extends slightly below the costal arch. 

The liver maintains its position through various ligamentous attachments. It is an intraperitoneal organ, and almost all of it is encapsulated within the visceral peritoneum, except for the porta hepatis, the bare area, and the gallbladder fossa that houses the gallbladder

Beneath the peritoneum, the liver is covered by a fibrous capsule known as Glisson’s capsule. This capsule also covers each structure of the porta hepatis that enters the liver.


Note: In a healthy individual, the liver can be examined by touch (palpated) at the epigastric region. Here, the inferior border of the liver lies the closest to the anterior abdominal wall. If the liver becomes enlarged, it can be palpated under the costal arch and way below the infrasternal angle.