Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hepatomegaly Overview

What is hepatomegaly?
A person with hepatomegaly has enlargement of the liver. The liver plays a key role in metabolism. It helps food to be absorbed by the intestines as well as removing toxic substances from the bloodstream. Sometimes the liver will enlarge when it becomes inflamed. Liver enlargement, by itself, is not a disease, but may a sign of an underlying disease. Causes of hepatomegaly include hepatitis, mononucleosis, and congestive heart failure.

What are the symptoms of hepatomegaly?
Usually, mild hepatomegaly does not cause symptoms. Symptoms of moderate to severe hepatomegaly may include nausea, vomiting, right upper abdominal pain, fatigue, fever, itching, jaundice, and brown urine.

How does the doctor treat hepatomegaly?
The treatment of hepatomegaly depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for hepatomegaly may include a liver disease diet, and avoidance of alcohol and medications that irritate the liver.

Continue to Hepatomegaly Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hepatomegaly References
  1. Allison ME. Fatty liver. Hosp Med. 2004 Oct;65(10):609-12. [15524341]
  2. van Hoek B. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a brief review. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 2004;(241):56-9. [15696851]
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