Enlarged Liver in Children – Causes
What are the causes of enlarged liver in children? There are over hundred different liver diseases that can affect children as well as adults. As I said earlier, hepatomegaly or an enlarged liver is the indication of some underlying medical condition. It is more a symptom than a disorder. The liver begins to enlarge gradually as it becomes inflamed from the various diseases. The primary conditions associated with an enlarged liver in children include viral infections of the liver such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and hepatoblastoma, which is a form of liver cancer that usually occurs in infants. Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by the deterioration of bile ducts and Reye’s syndrome, a condition that causes fat build up in the liver and is generally associated with the use of aspirin can also result in abnormal enlargement of the liver. Other causes of an enlarged liver in children include heart diseases, metabolic disorders and obesity. Sometimes, enlargement of the liver is accompanied by enlargement of the spleen and the condition is referred to as hepatosplenomegaly. An Enlarged spleen and liver are mostly associated with diseases that harm the kidneys, liver or the red blood cells in the body. Like an enlarged liver, an enlarged spleen in children can be considered as a symptom of some other medical condition. Now, that you know the various causes of hepatomegaly, let us move on to the symptoms of an enlarged liver in children.
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Enlarged Liver in Children – Symptoms
A slightly enlarged liver in children often shows no signs and symptoms. However, as the condition progresses and the liver continues to enlarge, the child may experience pain in the abdomen. Abdominal pain can be moderate to severe, depending on the intensity of the condition. Severe cases of liver damage can result in jaundice, which is characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Enlarged Liver in Children – Treatment
The condition is confirmed by means of palpation, X-ray, ultra sound, CT scan or blood tests. The treatment primarily involves dealing with the specific cause of liver enlargement. Treating the disease that has caused the liver to enlarge can repair the liver damage signs and hence it is very important to determine the exact cause of the condition. Mild cases can be cured by certain medications to reduce the inflammation of the liver. However, severe cases of liver damage may require a liver transplant.
This was all about enlarged liver in children. Early diagnosis of liver enlargement in children can help in effective treatment of the condition and prevent further complications. Hope you found this information useful![ad_2]