The term hepatomegaly refers to a pathological enlargement of the liver. The increase in volume can be congenital (i.e. present at birth or due to hereditary causes) or caused by medical conditions (blood stasis, cirrhosis, cancer, amyloidosis, hydatid cysts, brucellosis, amoebiasis, etc.).

Enlargement of the liver may be accompanied, in some cases, by pain localized at the height of the right side (or in the vicinity of the liver itself) and aggravation in case of palpation. The skin may turn into a yellowish (jaundice) color.


What kind of diseases can be associated with hepatomegaly?

Diseases that can be associated with the presence of hepatomegaly are the following:

  • Acromegaly
  • Amebiasis
  • Amyloidosis
  • Brucellosis
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Hydatid cysts
  • Ebola
  • Hepatitis
  • Heart failure
  • Leukemia
  • Malaria
  • Chagas disease
  • Wilson disease
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Rubella
  • Septic shock
  • Syphilis
  • Fatty liver
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Liver cancer

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for hepatomegaly?

Since there are different diseases that can be associated with hepatomegaly, it is important to know that hepatomegaly is not a disorder in itself, but is related to other symptoms. The patient should treat the base disease that causes the appearance of a dysfunction.

Irrespective of which is the origin of the, individuals with hepatomegaly should avoid smoking and alcohol intake, maintain a normal weight, follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat and exercise constantly.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of hepatomegaly?

In case of hepatomegaly it is always good to consult your doctor.