What is it?

Hepatomegaly is an enlarged liver. Hepatomegaly can be the result of many conditions, such as hepatitis- an infection of the liver, obesity, medications, alcohol abuse, toxins, autoimmune disease, metabolic syndrome, and genetic storage diseases. Hepatomegaly can also be a sign for cysts in the liver or tumors that spread to the liver, or a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma. Heart and blood vessel disease including congestive heart failure, hepatic vein thrombosis and a venous-occlusive disease can also result in hepatomegaly. An enlarged liver can also be a sign for taking too much vitamins, supplements or medication as well as herbal supplements like black cohosh.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Enlarged liver

Signs & symptoms

Hepatomegaly symptoms include a feeling of fullness and discomfort in the abdomen. Other symptoms, which depend on the reason for the hepatomegaly, may also include jaundice, fatigue, itching, muscle aches, abdominal pain, poor appetite, easy bruising, nausea and weight loss.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of hepatomegaly starts with a physical exam- normally, the liver is not supposed to be palpated on a physical exam but an enlarged liver can be palpated. In order to find the reason for the hepatomegaly, other tests may be performed such as a complete blood count, liver functions, imaging tests like abdominal X-ray, liver US,a CT or an MRI. A liver biopsy is also an option.

Treatment

Treatment for hepatomegaly depends on the underlying cause and may include treatment for hepatitis, chemotherapy, surgery, liver transplant, quitting alcohol and losing weight.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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