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How is an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly) diagnosed?

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Your doctor will do a physical exam to see if your liver is larger than it should be. He may also order some blood tests to help figure out what's causing it.

He might also try to get a better look at your liver by asking that you get some images made with these:

There are other ways your doctor can look for the cause of your enlarged liver. He may 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 liver biopsy (a small sample of liver cells) to check determine possible causes including cancer or a condition called fatty liver disease.

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan, which is a powerful X-ray
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses powerful magnets and radio waves
  • Ultrasound, which uses sound waves

From: Enlarged Liver (Hepatomegaly) WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 17, 2019

Medically Reviewed on 9/17/2019

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 Minesh Khatri on September 17, 2019

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 Minesh Khatri on September 17, 2019

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