Diseases and Conditions

Enlarged liver


Your doctor might start by feeling your abdomen during a physical exam to determine liver size, shape and texture. However this might not be enough to diagnose an enlarged liver.

Additional procedures

If your doctor suspects you have an enlarged liver, he or she might recommend other tests and procedures, including:

  • Blood tests. A blood sample is tested to determine liver enzyme levels and identify viruses that can cause enlarged liver.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests include CT scan, ultrasound or MRI.
  • Magnetic resonance elastography uses sound waves to create a visual map (elastogram) of the stiffness of liver tissue. This noninvasive test can be an alternative to a liver biopsy.
  • Removing a sample of liver tissue for testing (liver biopsy). A liver biopsy is often done using a long, thin needle that's inserted through your skin and into your liver. The needle draws out a core of tissue that is then sent to a laboratory for testing.