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Friday, September 25, 2015

Hepatomegaly ::

What is Hepatomegaly?
Hepatomegaly is a condition that is identified as having an enlarged liver. Typically, the liver is tucked underneath the lower rib cage. If a swollen liver is found in an examination, then the abdomen appears distended. For the most part, any conditions and/or diseases may cause the onset of hepatomegaly. An enlarged liver is a symptom of an underlying condition that directly impacts the digestive system.
Because the liver performs many vital functions, the human body is unable to replace its role. Therefore, health professionals must determine what is causing the enlarged liver. Several risk factors that may pose a threat against the liver, such as alcoholism, hepatitis, smoking, different types of cancers and tumors, and a number of other conditions. Paying special attention to abnormal symptoms and signs may help health providers to pinpoint an accurate diagnosis.

Causes of Hepatomegaly ::
Hepatomegaly is the condition of having an enlarged liver. It is a nonspecific medical sign having many causes, which can broadly be broken down into infection, direct toxicity, hepatic tumours, or metabolic disorder.
Common Causes of Hepatomegaly are :
1. Infective
- Glandular fever (Infectious mononucleosis)
- Hepatitis (Although not all hepatitis viruses cause hepatomegaly)
- Liver abscess (pyogenic abscess and amoebic abscess)
- Malaria
- Amoeba infections
- Hydatid cyst
- Actinomycosis
2. Neoplastic
- Metastatic tumours secondary to spread from cancer in other organs (most common)
- Hemangiomas
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Myeloma
- Leukemia
- Lymphoma
3. Cirrhotic
- Portal
- Biliary
- Cardio
- Haemochromatosis
4. Metabolic
- Fatty infiltration
- Gaucher's disease
- Glycogen Storage Disease types III, VI and IX
5. Drugs and toxins
- Alcoholism
- Poisoning
6. Congenital
- Hemolytic anemia
- Polycystic disease
- Cori's disease

Testing for Hepatomegaly

Screening for hepatomegaly is conducted to determine what conditions and/or diseases are causing an enlarged liver. It is important to note that a number of diseases and/or conditions may affect liver function. Tests for liver function, CT scans, X-rays, Ultrasound, and MRI are reliable indicators.
Diagnosing a disease and/or condition causing hepatomegaly relies on film and liver function results. Symptoms and signs contribute to diagnosing the underlying condition. It is possible that various types of cancers and/or tumors are compromising the liver. Therefore, screening for Hepatitis, congenital conditions, and performing scans of the abdomen may identify the source causing the enlarged liver.
The following are screenings and tests performed to determine the cause of hepatomegaly:

  • Abdominal CT scans
  • Abdominal X-rays 
  • Abdominal MRI
  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Liver function test
  • Blood test for Hepatitis
  • Biopsy to rule out cancer

    Treating Hepatomegaly

    Treatments for hepatomegaly are determined by the condition causing the enlarged liver. For the most part, hepatomegaly is a condition of another underlying disease and/or disorder. As with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the presence of cancer cells and/or tumors within or near the liver require treatment options such as chemotherapy, advanced surgery, radiation therapy, and possible liver transplant to restore normal function. 

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