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What Is Liver Calcification?

Calcium formations on the liver are known as liver calcifications.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 29 March 2014
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Occasionally during a computed tomography (CT) scan, a doctor will find calcium deposits on the liver. This condition is known as liver calcification or hepatic calcification. Calcification on the liver generally indicates calcium has formed in areas affected by past infection or injury, typically to protect the area from further damage. Calcium build-up may also be found during pregnancy on an ultrasound of a fetus.

A calcified liver may be indicative of liver lesions or tumors, although liver calification is not commonly associated with a serious disorder or underlying condition. If, during a scan of the liver, the only irregularity seen is the presence of liver calcification, this is generally not a major cause for concern. Occasionally, medications may also cause calcification in the liver if the body reacts negatively to a drug.

Liver calcification in a newborn may be caused by infection, which may occur in the womb or shortly after birth. Abdominal inflammation may cause calcific liver conditions in newborns due to a rupture of the bowel wall during childbirth. A drainage of fetal stool matter, also known as meconium, may be responsible for infection, leading to calcium build up in areas of the liver. Blood clots forming on the liver that damage surrounding tissue may also cause calcification.

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Liver calcification may also be due to excessive alcohol consumption. This occurs when the liver attempts to heal itself from alcohol damage. As a result, an accumulation of calcium is deposited on the liver. In advanced and severe cases, calcification may occur in conjunction with cirrhosis.

Liver disorders may also cause calcification. Cysts or tumors within the liver are a major cause for this build-up. In a benign tumor, lesion, or cyst, there may be no symptoms. The calcification may be detected by ultrasound or CT scan. A biopsy can determine if these growths are cancerous. If benign, there may be no need for treatment and the situation may resolve over time.

A malignant tumor with liver calcification may require advanced or invasive treatment. Surgery to remove a mass or radiation therapy may be an option for calcification on the liver caused by a malignant tumor. A follow-up course of chemotherapy may also be prescribed.

When a newborn with liver calcification is found to have a liver tumor at birth, this is often a benign mass. Typically, the growth will require surgical removal. In most cases, the infant will require no further medical intervention.

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Discuss this Article

anon942279
Post 7

I am 33 weeks pregnant and my unborn baby has a 5.1mm liver calcification that was discovered at 20 weeks. The doctors are monitoring me every few weeks to determine if the calcification is getting bigger (thank goodness, it's not). They said there is nothing to be worried about, but I'm still concerned.

anon360225
Post 6

My 23 year old daughter was diagnosed with patch liver calcification. She had a scan done in 2010, and nothing was seen. Then in 2012, she had a CT scan done because she was having pains in her stomach above her navel. That's when they detected with patchy liver calcification. She takes nurofen, as well as Zyrtec, or Claritin for hay fever. The doctor did an MRI and said that everything seems normal and that calcification is better seen on a CT. Hers were found because of the stomach cramps and the doctor wanted her to do an abdominal scan. That's how it was detected. She had another CT a year later and nothing has changed, so she said she can do one in two years. --hjg

anon311806
Post 5

I had an ultrasound followed by a liver biopsy, and my specialist has suggested a course of tablets for six months (three to be taken in the morning every day). The drug prescribed can be used to dissolve gallstones (which I don't have), but I was also recently informed that it could be used for the calcification of the liver. I don't drink, regularly or otherwise, once in a blue moon really, and although I have tattoos, I took proper care of them after they were done. I was also tested for Hepatitis, which came back negative.

I appear to be something of a medical mystery to my doctor and/or specialist, but I don't feel special. I just want to be discharged so I can get on with life! I'm a 32 year-old female.

Esther11
Post 4

Though liver calcifications are serious business, it's important to remember that the liver can also regenerate itself really well. My father had cancer and it spread to his liver. The doctors operated and cut out quite a bit of the cancerous liver. In time, it regenerated completely. How cool is that?

Of course, you shouldn't go out and damage your liver because there's only so much it can regenerate (from what I understand) but still, a cool function of the body.

B707
Post 3

My uncle has liver calcification, and now that he knows how important the liver is for good health, he always talks about how he wishes he had been paying attention to some of the mistakes he made. It's just so sad that many of the risk factors that lead to liver calcification can be easily prevented.

For example, just following basic hygiene rules when getting a tattoo or body piercing can help out a ton (if you get one at all). Also, everybody knows that sharing drug needles is bad in general, but it's also really risky for your liver.

And of course, drinking alcohol in excess is the big bad -- so not a good idea for liver health.

My uncle drank way too much and now he is a very sick man. So take care of yourself, everybody -- and remember, even little things can have a huge impact on your health.

Artyest
Post 2

I had no idea there were so many different causes of calcification of the liver! I knew that drinking caused liver problems, but how frightening that you can also get it from a cyst or tumor!

So what exactly are the symptoms of liver calcification? Is there any way that you can sort of catch it as it happens, or what?

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