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Radiologia Brasileira

On-line version ISSN 1678-7099


ROCHA, Silvia Maria Sucena da et al. Sonographic determination of liver size in healthy newborns, infants and children under 7 years of age. Radiol Bras [online]. 2009, vol.42, n.1, pp.7-13. ISSN 1678-7099.

OBJECTIVE: The present study was aimed at sonographically determining the liver size in healthy newborns, infants and children under 7 years of age, correlating results with age, sex, height, body weight and body mass index. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 584 healthy children subdivided into 11 age groups were evaluated with measurements of the left lobe craniocaudal diameter at the midsternal line, and the craniocaudal diameter of the right lobe posterior surface at the midclavicular line. The following tests were utilized for statistical analysis: a) Pearson's correlation coefficient (correlation study); b) non-paired Student's t-test (comparison of measures between sexes); c) nonlinear regression models (nomograms). RESULTS: The liver size presented a progressive growth from the birth up to the age of 7, proportionally lower than the body growth, in correlation with age, height and body weight (r > 0.70). Correlation with the body mass index was not observed (r < 0.11). There was no significant difference in liver size between male and female individuals. CONCLUSION: Liver size was sonographically determined in healthy children under the age of 7 by means of a standardized method, demonstrating a strong correlation with age and anthropometric indicators. Nomograms demonstrate the typical variations of the liver size in the population evaluated with a different growth pattern for each hepatic lobe.

Keywords : Liver; Liver size; Biometry; Child; Ultrasonography.

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