Category Archives: echogenicity



About Generalized Increased Liver Echogenicity

Echogenicity is a term that refers to the manner in which a body organ or tissues will bounce the ultrasound as an echo. The instances of echogenicity ar increased when the surface that bounces the ultrasound as an echo reflects the sound waves that are increased. Echogenicity is very common in the liver.

Increasing echogenicity in the liver

There are various ways of increasing liver echogenicity. For one, microbubble contrast agents that are gas filled can be administered intravenously to the systematic circulation of the liver. The level of echogenicity will be increased because the gas filled nicrobubbles themselves have high echogenicity. The ultrasonic frequency field that is formed will cover these gas bubbles. The gas bubbles will in effect oscillate, compress and produce an echo that is very characteristic.  This echo is not only effective but crucial in generating a unique and strong sonogram for ultrasound that has been enhanced for contrast.

Reasons for increased echogenicity with gas filled microbubble contrasting agents

The level of echogenicity will be improved because these contrasting agents themselves are echogenic. However the process that leads to the increase of echogenicity is scientifically systematic. For one, the gas cores are composed of various gases like nitrogen, perfluorocarbons including air. All these gases that are contained in the contrasting agents are significantly heavy. What this means is that they will be less likely to leak or escape from the gas filled micro bubbles, a process which has been known to impair echogenicity. What this means is that to increase echogenicity, only microbubbles that have heavy gases should be used in the process. They last for considerably longer time periods significantly increasing echogenicity.

The process of increasing echogenicity described above is the standard for many body organs. For the liver, this is still applicable. The liver contrastingly could have natural increased echogenicity. This is often realized with the first ultrasound examination as is attributed to excess fatty acids in the liver. The probability of fatty liver having increased echogenicity is compounded if the transaminases of the liver have been elevated.

There are other causes of generalized liver echogenicity which include:

·         Chronic hepatitis

·         Liver cirrhosis

·         Liver cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease that is very hard to treat or control. It is characterized by hardening of the hepatic cells. It often results in hepatocellular necrosis. The causes of liver cirrhosis include alcoholism in up to 70 percent of the cases, viral hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and other biliary diseases, primary haemochromatosis, wilson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, rare cryptogenic and alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

·         Infiltration or the deposition of malignant granulomata

·         Tuberculosis

·         Brucellosis

·         Sarcoidosis

·         Glycogen storage disease

The increased echogenicity of the liver is also by many similar definitions similar to that found in women who have polycystic syndrome. In addition, these women have uncharacteristic increased in a type of echogenicity called stromal echogenicity. Another similarity is with the echogenic intracardiac focus which affects babies in whose heart muscles are mineralized with calcium deposits.