What is the role of ultrasonography in the evaluation of acute liver failure (ALF)?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Gagan K Sood, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

A Doppler ultrasonography scan of the liver establishes the presence of ascites and may determine the patency and flow in the hepatic veins (allowing exclusion of Budd-Chiari syndrome), hepatic artery, and the portal vein.

Liver ultrasonography may not be necessary if an obvious explanation exists for the hepatic failure. However, it may assist the clinician in excluding the presence of a hepatocellular carcinoma or intrahepatic metastases (see the image below).

Ultrasonogram shows a hyperechoic mass representin Ultrasonogram shows a hyperechoic mass representing hepatocellular carcinoma.

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