The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on the right side. The liver has a multitude of important and complex functions, including to manufacture proteins, including albumin (to help maintain the volume of blood) and blood clotting factors; to synthesize, store, and process fats, including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol; to metabolize and store carbohydrates (used as the source for the sugar in blood); to form and secrete bile that contains bile acids to aid in the intestinal absorption of fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; to eliminate, by metabolizing or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body, such as bilirubin, from the breakdown of old red blood cells and ammonia from the breakdown of proteins; and to detoxify, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins.
- Liver biopsy
A procedure in which a small sample of the liver is removed for the diagnosis of abnormal liver conditions. The most common method for obtaining a liver biopsy is percutaneous (‘through the skin’). A percutaneous biopsy involves insertion of a biopsy needle through the skin and chest wall over the lower right side of the […]
- Liver cancer, adult primary
A tumor in which the cancer starts during adulthood in cells in the liver. Also called hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoma. Primary liver cancer is different from cancer that has metastasized (spread) from another place in the body to the liver. The signs and symptoms may include a hard lump just below the rib cage on […]
- Liver disease
Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver Inflammation (hepatitis) from infectious (hepatitis B, hepatitis C) or non-infectious causes (chemical or autoimmune hepatitis) Tumors, benign and malignant (liver cancer) Metabolic disorders Alcohol abuse is one leading cause of liver disease. Infections, poisons, and inherited (genetic) conditions can also cause diseases of the liver. In most patients with […]
- Liver Failure
McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012.
- Liver of pregnancy, acute fatty
a deficiency of the enzyme long-chain-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenease (LCHAD). The mother and father have half the normal LCHAD activity, and the fetus has no LCHAD activity. This metabolic disease in the baby’s liver causes the fatty liver disease in the mother.