Alcoholic liver fibrosis is a relatively common form of alcoholic liver disease in Japan. It is regarded by some investigators as a prodromal stage of alcoholic liver cirrhosis, but little is known about the volumes of the liver and spleen in this disease state. Therefore, liver and spleen volumes were measured by computed tomography in 32 patients with alcoholic liver fibrosis in comparison with 10 healthy volunteers. Patients with alcoholic liver fibrosis were divided into three subgroups (13 of Grade 1, 9 of Grade 2 and 10 of Grade 3) according to the severity of fibrosis. The volume was calculated from the sum of the area measurements of successive transverse sections of the two organs. The liver volume (mean ± S.D.) in Grade 2 alcoholic liver fibrosis (1,281 ± 112 cm3) was significantly (p < 0.01) larger than in healthy volunteers (1,017 ± 73 cm3) and in Grade 1 (1,090 ± 157 cm3), and the liver volume in Grade 3 (1,490 ± 132 cm3) was larger than in Grade 2 (p < 0.01). The mean volume of hepatocytes estimated by a two-dimensional image analysis system was significantly (p < 0.05) larger in Grade 3 than in Grade 2, and that in Grade 2 was larger than in Grade 1. The spleen volume in Grade 3 (151 ± 40 cm3) was significantly (p < 0.01) larger than in healthy volunteers (86 ± 26 cm3), Grade 1 (89 ± 38 cm3) and Grade 2 (68 ± 19 cm3). The presumed reason for hepatic volume increase would be the ballooning of hepatocytes along with increased fibrotic component.
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