When asked about which body is most important in the human body, many people come to mind in their hearts. However, this is not quite the right answer, because the liver, an organ responsible for a huge number of different physiological functions, can quite compare with our heart. Judge for yourself: the liver is responsible for removing harmful and toxic substances from the body, participates in digestive processes, and also serves as a kind of depot for a significant volume of blood. Of course, in the presence of such important functions, any violation in the work of this body directly affects the general state of the body. To date, there are many methods of examining the liver – from normal palpation to innovative fibroscanning.
Palpation and percussion
Before starting the list of methods for examining the liver, it should be noted that there are simply no non-dangerous diseases of this organ – every ailment poses a serious threat to human life. Unfortunately, diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer each year take many human lives worldwide. And Russia is not an exception, because in our country there is an acute problem with alcoholism.
The easiest way to diagnose the liver is traditionally considered to be palpation and percussion. However, one should not think that such a technique used at primary examination is ineffective. Palpation and percussion, carried out with the help of probing and tapping, allows:
- to reveal the first signs of liver disease. For example, if the edge of the organ is located quite low, then it may be about the omission or even enlargement of the liver;
- determine the feasibility of further research. Physicians can prescribe various diagnostic procedures in order to study the problem in more detail;
- make sure that liver problems are not observed. And in some cases, the doctor can advise various preventive measures that support the normal operation of this vital organ.
Ultrasound of the liver
In itself, the expression “ultrasound of the liver” is not entirely correct, because the specialist examines the entire abdominal cavity. In other words, it is right to say “ultrasound of the abdominal cavity”. This method of examining the liver can identify a number of dangerous ailments, including cancer, cirrhosis or hepatitis.
To date, ultrasound is the most popular method of diagnosis, because at its cost it is available to absolutely every person. With the help of ultrasound, a specialist can determine, among other things, the following problems:
- presence of metastases and vices;
- any deviations in the development of the liver;
- resizing body.
It should be noted that ultrasound diagnosis requires a certain preparation of the patient. Before implementing the procedure, it is necessary to fulfill a number of conditions to ensure maximum reliability of the data. The procedure is best done in the early morning, when the person has not yet taken food.
Many people for some reason confuse two concepts: computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the liver. In this case, we are talking about computed tomography of the organ, the essence of this procedure is based on the application of X-rays in the process of investigation. The method of research using computed tomography allows us to identify a number of diseases:
- oncology. Among other things, tumors are detected at an early stage of development;
- bleeding of the liver. This is a dangerous process that poses a threat to human life;
- finding a cyst and hematoma;
- revealing sub-diaphragmatic and subhepatic abscess.
Like ultrasound diagnosis, computed tomography requires careful preparation. Plus, do not forget that this method of research is contraindicated in pregnant women. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that the patient should not have any allergy to a special contrast agent, which is given to him before the start of the study. In addition, the patient should not be intolerant to iodine and seafood. Reliability of the results will be guaranteed only if the specialist and the patient comply with all the necessary recommendations.
MRI of the liver
Today, a lot of visualizing methods are available to people, with the help of which we obtain data on the state of internal organs. And one of the best is magnetic resonance imaging, which makes it possible to obtain image sections of the liver immediately in three different planes. This fact makes it possible to present a practical complete picture of the condition of the organ, to reveal even minor diseases, and also to determine the methods of treatment.
MRI should be performed in the following cases:
- in the presence of various voluminous formations, including a cyst. For example, MRI can detect a parasitic cyst that has a devastating effect on the organ;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- traumatic liver injuries;