hepatomegaly

Hepatomegaly refers to an increase in size or enlargement of the liver.

Pathology

Etiology

Hepatomegaly can result from a vast range of pathology including, but not limited to, the following:

Radiographic features

Assessment of liver size is commonly made on ultrasound or CT, although gross hepatomegaly may be apparent on abdominal radiograph.

For the adult liver:

  • midclavicular line averages 10-12.5 cm in craniocaudal length
    • a liver that is longer than 15.5-16 cm in the midclavicular line (MCL) is considered enlarged
  • average transverse diameter is 20-23 cm at the level of the upper pole of the right kidney

In practice, however, assessment is often subjective.

Features that support hepatomegaly include :

  • extension of the right lobe inferior to the lower pole of the right kidney
  • rounding of the hepatic inferior border

Differential diagnosis

See also