Liver Enlargement

What Causes Enlarged Liver?

In order to hopefully treat and prevent recurrence of enlarged liver we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow enlarged liver to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind enlarged liver consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to enlarged liver.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Leukemia
  • Cancer
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Infectious Mononucleosis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
postauricular node problems
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
much reduced sense of smell
watery eyes
painful axillary nodes
major fatigue for over 12 months
resolved atypical recent headaches
excessive thirst
frequent swollen inguinal nodes
very great unexplained weight loss
recent loss/regaining of appetite
sweating mildly at night
... and more than 50 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of enlarged liver:
Cause Probability Status
Sarcoidosis 98% Confirm
Cancer 12% Unlikely
Leukemia 0% Ruled out
Infectious Mononucleosis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate liver problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Is your liver enlarged? This may have been diagnosed by a doctor, or you may be able to feel a lump/discomfort/pain when you press gently under your right ribcage.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, confirmed normal
→ Possibly - I think I can feel it
→ Yes, confirmed slight enlargement
→ Yes, confirmed significant enlargement
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate normal sized liver, possible enlarged liver or enlarged liver, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Cancer, General

The liver is a common site for metastatic cancer.

Infectious Mononucleosis - Mono

Mild enlargement of the liver may occur.

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