Ultrasound of the liver: normal size, what else shows?


With the help of ultrasound examination of the liver it is possible to see the morphological structure of the liver, to detect the changes (such as cancer, for example) and the reasons for their occurrence, to assess the blood flow to the body work and the anatomical structure of the gall bladder. Decoding is performed by a specialist-analog. On the screen you can see the lobe of the liver, and with good resolution and their constituent segments. This method gives the opportunity to see a full image of an organ is completely painless. In turn, this gives the opportunity to examine and kids too.

The technique of research

Normally, the patient is notified in advance about the ultrasound and receives the necessary guidance to prepare. The day of the test in a specially equipped office, a person laid on the couch, freeing from clothes the upper half of the body or only stomach. The doctor asks the patient to hold their breath, causing ultrasound probe conductive gel and presses the scanner to the skin in the right subcostal region. First, determine the lateral dimensions of the body, then cross-analyze the echogenicity (the ability of tissues to reflect ultrasound depending on its density), then it is possible to visualize the gallbladder, the common hepatic and bile ducts, the vessels to the site of entry into the liver parenchyma, capturing part of the pancreas. At the end of the survey to the person issued an image of the organ under investigation and the interpretation of findings.

The average patient’s normal liver is in the right subcostal region, it is homogeneous in structure, its echogenicity is the same as with the right kidney, ligaments (except the crown) is not visualized.

The metric parameters of the body in normal:

  1. The right share: width – 11,0–12,5 cm, CWR (oblique vertical size) is close to 15.0 cm, the longitudinal axis of the – 11,0-15,0 cm
  2. Left lobe: the thickness – 7.0 cm, height – less than 10 cm.
  3. Total vertical size up to 18 cm.
  4. The transverse dimension (thickness) 9-12 see
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In addition, you can see the blood vessels of the liver, which have their standard sizes:

  • common bile duct – 6,0-8,0 mm;
  • v.portae less than 13,0 mm;
  • the upper hollow Vienna less than 15 mm;
  • intrahepatic veins of 6-10 mm;
  • hepatic artery – 4-7 mm.

Decoding results based on the comparison of obtained characteristics with age norm.

Ultrasound features in childhood

What are normal levels in children? They depend on age, as their body is in the process of growth. In order to accurately calculate the size of the liver you can use mathematical formulas or ready centile tables, which are meant indicators and their deviations. On average, a newborn baby and a baby’s liver is only 5 cm, to two years will increase to 6.5 cm in five years – 8 cm, and the twelve will rise to 9-10 cm At the time of the eighteenth birthday, size to about 12 cm as adults.

The same rules and the children and adults about the morphological structure of the organ. Description it consists of mandatory items:

  • The contours – smooth, clearly defined, division into lobes and segments.
  • The structure is homogeneous.
  • The upper hollow Vienna – exoneration as intrahepatic vessels, which appear in cross section.
  • Indicate the echogenicity of the liver parenchyma.

In the patient card or patient card, analog only records the symptoms of disease, the final diagnosis puts the physician on the basis of all obtained data.

The conduct of echosonography of the abdominal cavity in children

If the neonatologist suspects the child has hemolytic disease of the newborn or congenital jaundice, congenital cancer, the first ultrasound of the liver he is still in the hospital. But typically, healthy children across this study at the age of six weeks, at the stage of obligatory examination in order to see the dynamics of the growth and development of the internal organs.

Be sure to consult a district pediatrician regarding the necessity of such research, preparation and further analysis.

Children are difficult to examine, because they do not like cold sensor, they move all the time. It does not see a clear picture. Therefore, at the time of ultrasound, parents are asked to hold the child. The ideal option is if the baby is sleeping. Children tolerate the procedure well. Parents, it is important to remember that a separate appointment ultrasound your children still does not negate the involvement of the pediatrician in the interpretation of results, diagnosis and treatment.

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What pathological condition is diagnosed most often?


Ultrasound gives an overall picture of the inflammatory process, shows the degree of intoxication: the enlargement of the liver (segments of both lobes), rounding the edges. Echostructure within the normal range, but in the process of disease progression there are areas of higher density. If hepatitis develops due to portal hypertension, it is possible to identify the extension of the portal and splenic vein.

Fatty liver (steatosis) or «bright» liver

The reasons for this state of the accumulation of fat droplets in hepatocytes (the cells that form the liver parenchyma). Segments and lobes of the liver konturiruyutsya better. This means that the echogenicity of the parenchyma increased. In addition, there is an increase in liver size (at the expense of segments of the right lobe), the vagueness of its contours, complexities in the definition of the portal vein. At the beginning of the disease, the decoding of the image body is very similar to the picture of hepatitis. The second stage is characterized by a significant increase in body, uniform compaction structure and rounded edges. The last stage is characterized by strong increase of segments and lobes, another great round seal of the authority, vessels are not visualized.


Causes degeneration of hepatocytes, sclerosis of the liver tissue.

Gives the following basic characteristics:

  • a significant increase (at the expense of segments of the left lobe), and then decrease due to atrophic processes.
  • rounding the bottom edge and the roughness of its contours;
  • hyperechogenicity of the parenchyma in the beginning, and the decrease in density at the resolution stage of the disease;
  • reduction of elasticity and sound conductivity;
  • may precede liver cancer.
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Local changes in the liver

Exonerative area represents the appearance of the cyst contents may be serous or purulent, hematoma, abscess, or necrotic cavities.

Increased echogenicity suggests metastases of highly differentiated cancer, scars, foci of sclerosis or calcification.

Benign tumors include cysts, hemangiomas, hepatic adenomas. A malignant tumor can have both primary and metastatic nature. Most often found in liver metastases of cancer from other organs (lungs, stomach, bones). Consists of a primary cancer of hepatocytes or cells of the bile ducts. Diagnosis of this cancer is difficult because of the previous cirrhotic changes of the liver. Primary liver cancer is conventionally divided into nodular and diffuse forms. The diffuse form is more difficult to identify because of its affinity to the tissues of the affected organ. The nodal form of primary liver cancer-like metastases, which hampers its detection.

Ultrasound is not the only way to detect cancer, so be sure to carry out additional diagnostics to confirm the diagnosis.

If desired, ultrasound can be done in clinics, General hospitals, private medical centers. The man simply come in and make an appointment or call by phone. A specialist will not only conduct a survey, but will make the interpretation of results.

Ultrasound is an affordable, non-invasive, painless method, which shows the state of the internal organs, their blood supply and function. Suitable for diagnostics of inflammatory diseases, benign tumors and liver cancer.