Another name used to refer to this region is Calot’s Triangle. It is named for Jean-François Calot. Of note, Calot’s original description of the triangle in 1891 included the cystic duct, the common hepatic duct, and the cystic artery (not the inferior border of the liver as is commonly believed). The cystohepatic triangle is the area bound by the cystic duct, common hepatic duct, and the liver margin.
General surgeons frequently quiz medical students on this term and the name for the lymph node located within the triangle, Mascagni’s lymph node or Lund’s node. The latter is frequently enlarged due to inflammation of the gallbladder (e.g. cholecystitis) or the biliary tract (e.g. cholangitis) and may be removed along with the gallbladder during surgical treatment (cholecystectomy).
Calot’s triangle, containing the cystic artery, may also contain an aberrant / accessory Right Hepatic Artery or anomalous sectoral bile ducts. As a result dissection in the triangle of Calot is ill-advised until the lateral-most structures have been cleared and identification of the cystic duct is definitive. According to SESAP 12 (produced and distributed by the American College of Surgeons) dissection in the triangle of Calot is the #1 cause of common bile duct injuries.
Jean-François Calot (17 May 1861 – 1 March 1944) was a French surgeon best known for describing treatment of curvature of the spine in Pott’s disease. He also described a method of treating tuberculous abscesses and defined Calot’s triangle.
Calot was born in a farmer family of six children and spent his childhood in Arrens-Marsous, France. He received his bachelor degree in 1880 at Saint-Pe de Bigorre and in 1881 moved to Paris, where he worked as a tutor to pay for his university education. While still a student he described Calot’s triangle in his doctoral thesis, defended on 12 December 1890. He then worked as a surgeon at l’Hôpital Rotschild and l’Hôpital Cazin-Perrochaud in Berck. He described his technique for treating Pott’s disease of the spine in a paper he read to the Academy of Medicine in Paris in 1896. Much of his work later in his career was in orthopaedic surgery, particularly the treatment of war injuries; he founded the Institut orthopédique de Berck in 1900.