Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Abdominal Imaging - Pictorial Essay

Congestive hepatopathy: the role of the radiologist in the diagnosis


Department of Medical Specialties, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile


Department of Imaging, Clínica Alemana de Temuco, Temuco, Chile

Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 26: 541-545
DOI: 10.5152/dir.2020.19673
Read: 363 Downloads: 195 Published: 09 October 2020

The liver has a complex vascularization and is subjected to a high metabolic demand, making it vulnerable to hemodynamic changes. As a result, several pathologies can develop, one of which is congestive hepatopathy. This disease occurs secondary to various cardiovascular conditions that generate a persistent passive venous congestion in the liver, which in the long term can culminate in fibrosis and cirrhosis, which in turn increases the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. In order to avoid this outcome, early diagnosis is crucial; however, both the clinical presentation and laboratory tests are unspecific, and they are only altered in advanced stages of the disease. One form of early detection is through imaging findings, there being various useful modalities such as Doppler ultrasonography (US), computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. The purpose of this article is to detail the imaging findings of congestive hepatopathy in the different available modalities, with special emphasis on Doppler US, highlighting the role of the radiologist in the suspicion of this disease. We summarize the pathophysiologic mechanisms of congestive hepatopathy, clinical findings, and provide description of its main differential diagnoses.

You may cite this article as: Morales A, Hirsch M, Schneider D, González D. Congestive hepatopathy: the role of the radiologist in the diagnosis. Diagn Interv Radiol 2020; 26:541–545

EISSN 1305-3612