I recently had a stress echo test done to check my heart functions. All came back well on the stress echo but the ultra sound tech did note "Abnormal liver density". Cardo said since it was unspecific he recommended an abdominal ultrasound. He thought it was probably as cyst and not to be worried. Well I am human and hence I am worried. The ultra sound is not scheduled for a couple of weeks so I have some time to stew about this. I had an abdominal untrasound done about 3.5 years ago with nothing abnormal other than some possible sludge in my gallbladder. Recent liver functions done last fall were all well within the normal range. I used to drink (3-5 per day for about 10 years) but have not had any alcholol for almost 2 years. My questions are:
1. What is meant by "abnormal liver density"?
2. From what my cardo said liver cysts are not that uncommon, how common is uncommon?
3. Is there any potential danger from liver cysts?
4. Would any liver disease cause "abnormal liver density" other than a cyst?
5. Are mistakes possible in this type of indication (abnormal liver density) from a stress echo?
6. I feel fine except for an occasional upper right pain that comes and goes. My general practiioner said this was nothing to be worried about. "We all have aches and pains as we get older" I am 50 years old.
It could be fatty liver - I think this can change the density. Your liver can still function normally when it is fatty - the doctors say that it causes no pain, but I've read many posts from people with the same condition and they all complain of pain in the same area.
I have fatty liver and occasional pain here. I was drinking too much for a pretty good number of years, and the pain subsided several weeks after I quit. In your case, 3-5 per day for 10 years would be enough to give you this condition. I'm told that it can reverse itself, but that it can take years to reverse if you've been drinking for years.
Other causes are high Cholesterol and being overweight. The only cure is exercise,a good diet, and identifiying the original cause and eliminating it. In my case, it was alcohol. Your ultrasound should tell you if this is your condition. If you are living a healthy lifestyle and are not over weight, you probably don't need to worry about it though.
Thanks for the response. I have done some searching since reading your post and indeed your are correct that a fatty liver will show up as abnormal density but on the down side cirrhosis will also casue an abnormal density. It seems like the tech should have noted a cyst if that is what he saw. Well, have to wait I guess. I was hoping if the drinking had caused a fatty liver that it would have subsided by now. Some sites say it can go back to normal in 4 weeks so it seems to confilct with what the doctors told you about taking years. My cholesterol was high back a year or so, in the mid 200s and my triglycerides as well as my LDL was also high which could also have contributed to a fatty liver I guess. Now all seems withing normal limits except the LDL which is still somewhat high but not like before. I have lost over 30 lbs in the last year and a half from proper diet and no drinking and would consider my weight within normal limits. My body mass index puts me on the high side of normal at 24.
I've been frustrated by the advice on general websites, but I have it from two doctors now, that say it can take a long time (one said years) to go away. When they say 4-6 weeks, I think they're talking about the fat generated by a single drinking binge. I even found an old post form Dr Pho (on medhelp) that said you could get fatty infiltration in a single binge episode.
I'm with you- I worry about an early stage of cirrhosis that hasn't been dectected yet. My gastroenterologist claimed that the CT Scan would show 'obvious" cirrhosis and I don't think anyone wants to do a biopsy unless you have several indicators. My only indicators are the fatty liver, some pain (that has subsided) and a slightly low platelette count as of Feb. I'm going to get things rechecked in June.
I think there are a lot of fatty livers out there, and that it can be benign if there are not other sypmtoms and if you are no longer abusing yourself.
I had an ultrasound of my liver and it said I had a hypoechoic mass-like are measuring 2 X 3.2 X 1.8. There was decreased echogencity. Neoplasm could not be ruled out. I am waiting to have a CT. Did any of these terms appear in your ultrasound? I am having trouble finding any information. I am worried. I was also having right UQ pain. Do you know if a hypoechoic mass can be a tumor or a cyst?
hypoechoic /hy·po·echo·ic/ (-e-ko´ik) in ultrasonography, giving off few echoes; said of tissues or structures that reflect relatively few of the ultrasound waves directed at them.
Containing structures that reflect high-frequency sound waves and thus can be imaged by ultrasound techniques.
Looks like you will have to wait for your CT. Although from what I have read I think it is better to have a mass that is not dense (few echos) as cysts tend to be fill with fluid as opposed to a cell mass. Sounds like they just dont feel confident to rule out anything yet.
I have not had my ultra sound other than the one with the heart echo which noted the abnormal density. I am hoping it is a cyst that has been causing my discomfort just below my armpit for over a year. I was hoping it could be just a fatty liver but according to dr. kevin that would not be the terminology used.
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