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Liver disease

The term "liver disease" applies to many conditions that stop the liver from working or prevent it from functioning well. Abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), or abnormal results of liver function tests may suggest you have liver disease.

Related topics include:

References

Anstee QM, Jones DEJ. Liver and biliary tract disease. In: Walker BR, Colledge NR, Ralston SH, Penman ID, eds. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2014:chap 23.

Martin P. Approach to the patient with liver disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 146.

  • Fatty liver, CT scan

    Fatty liver, CT scan - illustration

    A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a fatty liver (steatosis of the liver). Note the liver enlargement and dark color compared with the spleen (gray body in lower right).

    Fatty liver, CT scan

    illustration

  • Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan

    Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan - illustration

    A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing disproportional steatosis (fattening) of the liver.

    Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan

    illustration

  • Cirrhosis of the liver

    Cirrhosis of the liver - illustration

    A chronic liver disease which causes damage to liver tissue, scarring of the liver (fibrosis; nodular regeneration), progressive decrease in liver function, excessive fluid in the abdomen (ascites), bleeding disorders (coagulopathy), increased pressure in the blood vessels (portal hypertension), and brain function disorders (hepatic encephalopathy). Excessive alcohol use is the leading cause of cirrhosis.

    Cirrhosis of the liver

    illustration

  • Liver

    Liver - illustration

    The liver serves a wide variety of body functions, including detoxifying blood and producing bile that aids in digestion.

    Liver

    illustration

    • Fatty liver, CT scan

      Fatty liver, CT scan - illustration

      A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a fatty liver (steatosis of the liver). Note the liver enlargement and dark color compared with the spleen (gray body in lower right).

      Fatty liver, CT scan

      illustration

    • Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan

      Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan - illustration

      A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing disproportional steatosis (fattening) of the liver.

      Liver with disproportional fattening, CT scan

      illustration

    • Cirrhosis of the liver

      Cirrhosis of the liver - illustration

      A chronic liver disease which causes damage to liver tissue, scarring of the liver (fibrosis; nodular regeneration), progressive decrease in liver function, excessive fluid in the abdomen (ascites), bleeding disorders (coagulopathy), increased pressure in the blood vessels (portal hypertension), and brain function disorders (hepatic encephalopathy). Excessive alcohol use is the leading cause of cirrhosis.

      Cirrhosis of the liver

      illustration

    • Liver

      Liver - illustration

      The liver serves a wide variety of body functions, including detoxifying blood and producing bile that aids in digestion.

      Liver

      illustration

    Tests for Liver disease

     

     

    Review Date: 4/2/2018

    Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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