Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-38

Liver size in Saudi Children and adolescents

1 Department of Pediatrics, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pediatrics, Al Yamama Hospital. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 The Children's Hospital, King Saud Medical Complex, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad I El Mouzan
King Saud University, College of Medicine, P O Box 2925, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.45052

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Background/Aim: To examine the liver size in Saudi children and adolescents. Methods: A large sample of children was selected from the general population by multistage random probability sampling for the assessment of physical growth. A random subsample of children-newborns to 18 years old-was taken from this larger sample for this study. Liver size below the costal margin and liver span along the midclavicular line were determined by physicians. Data were analyzed using SPSS software and medians and standard deviations were calculated. Results: Between 2004 and 2005, 18 112 healthy children up to 18 years of age were examined. All were term and appropriate for gestational age. There were 9 130 boys and 8 982 girls, yielding a nearly 1:1 male to female ratio. The maximum palpable liver size below the costal margin was 2.4 cm. The median and + 2 SD liver span at birth were 4 and 6.9 cm, respectively. There was no difference in the liver span between boys and girls of up to 60 months of age. Thereafter, a difference could be seen increasing with age, with girls having smaller liver spans than boys. Conclusion: This manuscript reports the liver size in Saudi children and adolescents. The data should help physicians in the interpretation of liver size determined by physical examination of children and adolescents.

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