Information on Hepatomegaly

Hepatomegaly (an enlarged liver) indicates potentially reversible primary or secondary liver disease. This sign may stem from diverse pathophysiologic mechanisms, including dilated hepatic sinusoids (in heart failure), persistently high venous pressure leading to liver congestion (in chronic constrictive pericarditis), dysfunction and engorgement of hepatocytes (in hepatitis), fatty infiltration of parenchymal cells causing fibrous tissue (in cirrhosis), distention of liver cells with glycogen (in diabetes), and infiltration of amyloid (in amyloidosis).

The lower edge of the liver normally comes just to the lower edge of the ribs (costal margin) on the right side. In its normal state, the edge of the liver is thin and firm, and it cannot be palpated (felt with the finger tips) below the edge of the costal margin. An enlarged liver usually causes no signs or symptoms. If the liver enlarges quickly, it may be tender to the touch.

Thirty-five patients were seen over a period of 50 years. The signs and symptoms of organ distress caused by hepatomegaly occurred in the lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract (GI), the inferior vena cava (IVC), and the liver. A scoring scale reflecting organ compromise was developed, the scores ranging from 0 (0 compromise) to 10 (all 5 systems showing evidence of impairment). Scores were derived for 32 of 35 patients; 13 were 4 weeks old or under (neonates) when first seen, and 19 were aged 1-12 months (infants).

A positron emission tomography scan showed intense abnormal uptake in the liver and less specific uptake in the inframammary and bone marrow areas. A bone marrow showed reactive features with negative cytogenetics, making a myeloproliferative disorder unlikely. Two percutaneous liver biopsies and a mini-laparotomy with wedge biopsy and portal node biopsy were performed. The liver biopsies excluded lymphoma but all showed necrotizing granulomas with infiltration of eosinophils.

Causes

Causes of hepatomegaly may include:
Alcohol use
Congestive heart failure
Glycogen storage disease
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS)
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis

Treatment

Hepatomegaly can be cured. Treatment depends on the cause of hepatomegaly. For example, abstaining from alcohol treats hepatomegaly caused by alcohol abuse. In all cases, regardless of the cause, appropriate medication can be taken to treat the underlying cause. Thanks to growing trust in herbal treatments survival rates have improved over the years. Herbal formulations to treat various types of liver problems have proven to be safe and very effective without any side effects.

The lower edge of the liver normally comes just to the lower edge of the ribs (costal margin) on the right side. In its normal state, the edge of the liver is thin and firm, and it cannot be palpated (felt with the finger tips) below the edge of the costal margin. If the liver becomes enlarged enough that it can be palpated below the costal margin, the patient may have hepatomegaly. The diagnosis must be confirmed by an imaging study of the liver. The liver is involved in many bodily functions, and is affected by a variety of conditions, many of which result in hepatomegaly.

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Enlarged liver as a symptom. This list is incomplete and various other drugs or substances may cause your symptoms. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.