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How is an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) diagnosed?

ANSWER

Your doctor will do a physical exam to see if your liver is larger than it should be. He may also order blood tests and ask you to get images made with:

He may also use an ERCP, a scope that checks for problems in the ducts (tubes) that carry bile. An MRCP, a special type of MRI, also helps spot that kind of trouble. In addition, he may want to take a small sample of liver cells to check for cancer or a condition called fatty liver disease.

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

SOURCES:

Children's Hospital Boston: "Liver Failure."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Liver Disease: Common Characteristics of Liver Disease."

Riley Hospital for Children: "Enlarged Liver/Spleen."

Merck Manual: "Cirrhosis."

Pediatric Education: "What Is the Differential Diagnosis of Hepatomegaly?"

Yu, Y.M. February 2004. American Diabetes Care,

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on June 19, 2020

SOURCES:

Children's Hospital Boston: "Liver Failure."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Liver Disease: Common Characteristics of Liver Disease."

Riley Hospital for Children: "Enlarged Liver/Spleen."

Merck Manual: "Cirrhosis."

Pediatric Education: "What Is the Differential Diagnosis of Hepatomegaly?"

Yu, Y.M. February 2004. American Diabetes Care,

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on June 19, 2020

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What causes inflammation or fatty liver disease?

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