Enlargement of the liver
Enlarged liver is a common condition, that is caused by diseases involving the liver and then expanding it beyond the normal size. Therefore, when your doctor tells you have an enlarged liver, that indicates the existence of a liver problem. Usually, an enlarged liver is more commonly found in fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, and viral hepatitis. These changes cause your liver edema and swelling, so its size becomes enlarged.
When you have an enlarged liver, you may usually feel fullness or as a mass in your upper right abdomen. You don't feel like eating sometimes or experience a food intolerance. With the enlargement of the liver, you may also feel upper right abdominal pain and lower right back pain (liver pain); A noticeable liver pain will be felt when you put pressure on the location of painful area - (tenderness/ pressing pain); Depending on the causes, enlarged liver may sometimes present along with jaundice (skin or eyes yellowing).
The problems causing enlarged liver include: catching infection, alcohol abuse, direct toxicity, liver cancer, cardiovascular diseases or metabolic disorders. So, the enlarged liver can be as a result of a variety of causes, however, the most common cause is fat accumulation in liver cells. This accumulation of fat is just the fatty liver that is usually caused by chronic alcoholism and obesity.
The common liver diseases that cause an enlarged liver include: Hepatitis, (hepatitis C, hepatitis B, autoimmune hepatitis), Fatty liver disease, Alcoholic liver disease, Liver congestion due to heart problems, Cholestasis due to biliary tract problems (gallbladder cancer, gallstones) or cancer of the head of pancreas, Liver cancer or cyst, Others (leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma).
Widespread enlargement of the liver: Fatty liver disease, various hepatitis, hepatic congestion, cirrhosis of the liver, Budd-Chiari syndrome, leukemia, schistosomiasis, clonorchiasis disease.
Localized enlargement of liver: Liver abscess, liver cancer and tumor, liver cyst and polycystic liver.
Enlarged liver diagnosis
- By symptoms: liver pain, discomfort, fullness in liver area or jaundice;
- By history of drinking alcohol, hepatic viruses, congenital disease of liver or bile ducts;
- Routine physical examination: enlarged liver, fatty liver detected by abdominal ultrasound;
- Liver function findings through blood tests;
- Physical Examination: percussion and palpation by doctors;
- Imaging findings: abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, MRI.
Enlarged liver treatment
Treatment depends on the reasons of the enlarged liver. Control of the inflammatory diseases, antiviral therapy, reversal of a fatty liver, giving up drinking alcohol and removal of a huge liver cancer, are all the treatment measures. You can consult your doctor for details.