Organ size is influenced by a number of factors. Age, height,
weight, and ethnicity are known influencing factors. Pediatric
populations have changed over time, puberty beginning earlier
resulting in a changing growth pattern of their organs. Hence,
contemporary charts using local data are considered the most
appropriate for a given population. Sonographic charts for liver
size for a predominantly Caucasian population are limited, which has
implications for clinical practice. The aim of this study was to
define a contemporary normative range of liver and spleen sizes for
a healthy, predominantly Caucasian population and for all pediatric
age groups (0-18 years) and to investigate whether there is a
size difference between genders and ethnicities.
Retrospective study including children with normal sonographic
findings and no evidence of liver or splenic disease clinically.
Craniocaudal and anteroposterior dimensions are measured for the
right and left lobe of the liver, and craniocaudal dimension for the
spleen. Relationship of the liver and spleen dimensions with age,
body length, body surface area, weight, and gender were
investigated. Charts of normal values were established. Values were
compared to studies involving other ethnicities and to one study
carried out in 1983 involving the same ethnicity.
Seven hundred thirty-six children (371 boys, 365 girls) aged
1 day - 18.4 years were included. From the second year
of life, the craniocaudal dimension of the right lobe of the liver
is 1-2 cm larger in the Central European population compared
with non-Caucasian populations at a given age. Liver size of Central
European children in 2020 is greater compared to a similar
population almost 40 years ago. The craniocaudal dimension of
the spleen of Central European, US-American and Turkish children is
similar. The difference between genders is statistically significant
for both the liver and the spleen, being larger in boys.
Contemporary and ethnically appropriate reference charts for liver
and spleen measurements should be used, especially for liver size.
The effect of ethnicity is reduced if patient height rather than age
Wälti S, Fischer T, Wildermuth S, Leschka S, Dietrich T, Guesewell
S, Mueller P, Ditchfield M, Markart S. Normal sonographic liver and
spleen dimensions in a central European pediatric population. BMC
Pediatr 2021; 21:276.