The Seven Tests

Your Liver and Spleen

An enlarged spleen and/or liver are very common in Gaucher patients. An enlarged spleen may cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Changed appearance:
    The spleen can swell to 25 times its normal size or more, which can make you look overweight or pregnant.
  • Bleeding:
    You may experience nosebleeds, bleeding gums or heavy menstrual periods.
  • Appetite:
    You may feel full after eating only small amounts of food.
  • Growth:
    In children it may affect mobility, standing and height.
  • Abdominal pain:
    An enlarged spleen may cause severe sudden abdominal pain.

The liver can also enlarge up to 2 ½ times its normal size. This can limit blood flow, causing severe pain and leading to fibrosis (scarring) of the liver and subsequent complications, such as disturbed liver function.

Your healthcare provider may recommend one of the following tests to determine whether Gaucher disease is affecting your liver or spleen. To best assess your liver and spleen, a physical exam should be combined with these tests.

Test 7 Options

MRI of the liver and spleen
This painless test produces pictures of the inside of the abdomen. It can show the size and structure of the spleen and liver.

OR

Computed tomography (CT) of the liver and spleen
This painless x-ray test shows a cross-sectional picture of your liver and spleen. The 3-D picture allows measurement of these organs.