Background/aims: The size of the liver is an important clinical parameter; the aim of this study is to examine the correlation between liver volume and etiology and the severity of disease, and to evaluate its usefulness in predicting survival.
Methodology: Patients observed in this study were comprised of thirty three patients with non-liver disease and 44 patients with chronic liver disease (alcoholic hepatitis, 9; hepatitis B, 24; and hepatitis C, 11). The liver volume was measured from digitized CT scan images. Techniques of planimetry and summation of areas were utilized for calculation.
Results: The prediction model to estimate liver volume in patients without liver disease was: liver volume (ml)= [13 x height (cm)] +[12 x weight (Kg)] - 1530. The volume ratio (%) [(volume from reconstructed image /predicted volume) x 100] of alcoholic patients was 135.9+/-25.8, which was significantly higher than that of chronic hepatitis B (73.6+/-15.4) and chronic hepatitis C (74.5+/-20.7). Patients with chronic viral hepatitis were classified into Child-Pugh class A (N=10), B (N=14) and C (N=11). Analysis of variance and trend test revealed that the volume ratio had a significant decreasing trend from the control group (100.5+/-8.1), class A (83.4+/-13.9), class B (72.2+/-13.2) to class C (63.3+/-14.4).
Conclusions: Liver volume can be predicted from patients' weight and height if they have no liver disease. The liver volume ratio correlates much better with etiology and severity of the disease and is a reliable predictor for patient's survival.