The variations in the sizes of the various organs during pregnancy is well known with various organs of the body increasing in size throughout pregnancy and returning to their pre-pregnant state during the pueperium. The purpose of this research was to investigate on the ultrasonographic evaluation of the liver in pregnant women at the Agbor General Hospital. The study was a cross-sectional survey of pregnant women with data obtained from the Agbor General Hospital. We investigated a total of one hundred and fifty (150) subjects and the result was analyzed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Science version 20.0. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Research and Ethics Committee of Human Anatomy Department in Delta State, University, Abraka. From the results; an average mean ± standard deviation was gotten for the pregnant female patients as regards liver length. The study showed apositive correlation between the liver lengths but not with gestational age and also a significant difference in the liver length as regards the age groups and with second and third trimester.
1.1 Background of Study
The variations in the sizes of the various organs during pregnancy is well known with various organs of the body lincreasing in size throughout pregnancy and returning to their pre-pregnant state during the pueperium (Melamedet al., 2011). The liver is the largest abdominal organ with function in filtering and storage of blood, metabolizing of carbohydrates, proteins, hormones and strange chemicals; to form bile, storage of vitamins and iron; and production of clothing factors. Also, the liver size estimation is important in the diagnosis and follow up of various disease occurring in pregnancy like hepatitis, and hypertensive diseases of pregnancy (Wennet, 2001). Thus, the knowledge of the normal sonographic liver size is important.
Ultrasonography is the best method for the assessment of abdominal organs during pregnancy as it is non-invasive non-ionizing thus safe in pregnancy. It is also readily available, quick, cheap and accurate (Kerstin and Brennan 1992). Examination is in real time, three-dimensional and independent of organ function thus the internal structures can be assessed easily. It has advantages over other radiological imaging modalities such as conventional radiography and computed axial tomography in that ionizing rays which are harmful to the developing fetus are used. With ultrasound, sound energy is used and has been found to have no adverse effect on the developing fetus, thus it is safe. It can be used at any stage of pregnancy (Miller et al., 1984). Physical examination of the liver through palpation and percussion is less accurate compared to ultrasound estimation of the size especially in detecting small increases in size (Rosemeriet al., 2010).