Ultrasound Measurement of Liver Span in Jordanian Adults: A Preliminary Experience

Emad S. Tarawneh, Azmy M. Hadidy, Azmi A. Haroun, Waleed S. Mahafza, Osama A. Samara, Fadi M. Arafeh, Abedallatif A. Alsharif


Background and Objective: One of the most frequent ultrasound requests by clinicians is evaluation of hepatic size. Clinical evaluation by percussion and palpation can be inaccurate, unreliable with significant inter-observer variation. Ultrasound remains a very important imaging modality when the liver is concerned because it is simple, practical and easy-to-use. Yet, ultrasound measurement of liver span didn’t receive much attention, particularly in this region. The aims of this study were to establish a normal figure of liver span for adults in Jordan, to investigate relationships between liver span and several anthropometric factors including age, gender, weight, height, body mass index and body surface area and to standardize ultrasound measurement of liver span.

Methods: A prospective study was carried out at Jordan University Hospital between March 2007 and April 2008, on non-selected population sample of 242 male and 275 female adults with age range of 18-76 years. Statistical analyses including correlation, regression and 95% confidence intervals were performed on the data to test the statistical significance of the various relationships between liver span as represented by midclavicular line longitudinal diameter on one side, and several anthropometric factors including age, gender, weight, height, body mass index and body surface area.

Results: our results showed that all anthropometric variables contributed highly and significantly to the variation in female liver span. The same factors however, with the exception of body mass index, significantly contributed to the variation in male liver span, however to a much lesser extent than females. The best predictor of liver span was height in case of males, body surface area in case of females, and both height and body surface area when both genders are considered. The 95% liver span confidence intervals were 12.3-12.8, 11.9-12.3 and 12.2-12.5 for males, females, and both genders combined, respectively.

Conclusion: Height and body surface area were the best determinants of liver span in males and females, respectively.


Midclavicular Line Longitudinal Diameter, Liver Span

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