Liver Lesions | What Causes Liver Lesions?

Symptoms of liver lesions

Liver lesions are usually symptomless, especially if they are benign. However, they can cause a wide variety of symptoms depending on their type and size. Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of liver disease, and it is usually dull and not sharp. The liver is located at the upper right abdomen, and that’s where the pain is worst. It can also be felt at the middle. Abdominal pain can be related to meals since that is when the liver is most active.
  • Jaundice: Jaundice is the yellowish tinge of the white of the eyes and the skin. It occurs when excessive levels of the chemical bilirubin accumulate in the blood. This usually points towards a severe disease of the liver whether viral, autoimmune or a malignancy.
  • Abdominal and leg swelling: The liver produces the protein albumin, which functions to keep fluids within the blood vessels. When the liver is impaired, so is the production of albumin, and fluid transudates through small pores in the blood vessels causing the swelling of the legs and the distension of the abdominal cavity, a condition known as ascites.
  • Feeling of a mass in the abdomen: It is very rare for a liver lesion to enlarge enough that the patient feels it in their abdomen or sees it protruding. It can only occur in some cases of large hemangiomas and liver cancers, and some pulsations can be seen or felt in such cases.
  • Easy bleeding and bruising: The liver produces prothrombin, a protein responsible for the clotting of blood following vessel injury. This causes easy bruising after minor injuries.
  • Hepatic encephalopathy: Hepatic encephalopathy is a disease of its own that results when excessive ammonia accumulates in the blood without being processed by the diseased liver. Symptoms occur when such ammonia starts diffusing into the brain and affecting neurological functions. They include sleepiness, tremors, inability to concentrate, and generalized weakness.

Written by Martin Davis