Cirrhosis physical examination

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cirrhosis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Cirrhosis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Study of Choice

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


Chest X Ray



Echocardiography or Ultrasound

Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Tertiary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case studies

Case #1

Cirrhosis physical examination On the Web

Most recent articles

cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Cirrhosis physical examination

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Cirrhosis physical examination

CDC on Cirrhosis physical examination

Cirrhosis physical examination in the news

Blogs on Cirrhosis physical examination

Directions to Hospitals Treating Cirrhosis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Cirrhosis physical examination

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sudarshana Datta, MD [2]


Patients with cirrhosis usually present with signs of jaundice, palmar erythema, spider angiomata, gynaecomastia and alteration of mental status arising due to complications of cirrhosis. Abdominal examination may show signs of abdominal distension, caput medusae, splenomegaly and flank dullness on percussion. Other findings on examination include nail changes, presence of Clubbing, dupuytren's contracture(flexion deformities of the fingers) and Asterixis in cases with hepatic encephalopathy.

Physical Examination

Appearance of the patient




Liver Cirhhosis
Source: Wikimedia commons


  • Palpation:
    • Fluid wave
    • Hepatomegaly may be present in initial stages. The liver may also be normal or shrunken.
    • Spleenomegaly may be present in patients with cirrhosis from nonalcoholic etiologies, due to portal hypertension
  • Percussion:
    •  Flank dullness may be present due to ascites (needs approximately 1500ml for detection)

{{#ev:youtube|8LDUtAAUJBc}} {{#ev:youtube|CHUBTgrU3Oc}}





Chest findings 

Other findings


  1. Li CP, Lee FY, Hwang SJ; et al. (1999). "Spider angiomas in patients with liver cirrhosis: role of alcoholism and impaired liver function". Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 34 (5): 520–3. PMID 10423070.
  2. "File:Kawasaki symptoms D.jpg - Wikimedia Commons".
  3. Sridhar MS, Rangaraju A, Anbarasu K, Reddy SP, Daga S, Jayalakshmi S, Shaik B (2017). "Evaluation of Kayser-Fleischer ring in Wilson disease by anterior segment optical coherence tomography". Indian J Ophthalmol. 65 (5): 354–357. doi:10.4103/ijo.IJO_400_16. PMC 5565897. PMID 28573989.
  4. Kim, SH; Keum, B; Kim, ES; Jeen, YT; Chun, HJ (2014). "Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic: Caput medusae". Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 29 (12): 1952–1952. doi:10.1111/jgh.12802. ISSN 0815-9319.
  5. Chandail VS, Jamwal V (2013). "Caput medusae". J Assoc Physicians India. 61 (8): 564. PMID 24818343.
  6. MUEHRCKE RC (1956). "The finger-nails in chronic hypoalbuminaemia; a new physical sign". Br Med J. 1 (4979): 1327–8. PMC 1980060. PMID 13316143.
  7. Callemeyn J, Van Haecke P, Peetermans WE, Blockmans D (2016). "Clubbing and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy: insights in diagnosis, pathophysiology, and clinical significance". Acta Clin Belg. 71 (3): 123–30. doi:10.1080/17843286.2016.1152672. PMID 27104368.
  8. Gibb C, Smith PJ, Miller R (2013). "Clubbing". Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 74 (11): C170–2. PMID 24350360.
  9. Morán LM, Ariza A (2013). "Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy associated to liver cirrhosis". Reumatol Clin. 9 (4): 248–9. doi:10.1016/j.reuma.2012.06.010. PMID 23099284.
  10. Tully AS, Trayes KP, Studdiford JS (2012). "Evaluation of nail abnormalities". Am Fam Physician. 85 (8): 779–87. PMID 22534387.
  11. Salem A, Gamil H, Hamed M, Galal S (2010). "Nail changes in patients with liver disease". J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 24 (6): 649–54. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03476.x. PMID 19888943.
  12. Yap FY, Skalski MR, Patel DB, Schein AJ, White EA, Tomasian A, Masih S, Matcuk GR (2017). "Hypertrophic Osteoarthropathy: Clinical and Imaging Features". Radiographics. 37 (1): 157–195. doi:10.1148/rg.2017160052. PMID 27935768.
  13. Pitt P, Mowat A, Williams R, Hamilton E (1994). "Hepatic hypertrophic osteoarthropathy and liver transplantation". Ann. Rheum. Dis. 53 (5): 338–40. PMC 1005335. PMID 8017989.
  14. Auld T, Werntz JR (2017). "Dupuytren's disease: How to recognize its early signs". J Fam Pract. 66 (3): E5–E10. PMID 28505213.
  15. Butz M, Timmermann L, Gross J, Pollok B, Südmeyer M, Kircheis G, Häussinger D, Schnitzler A (2014). "Cortical activation associated with asterixis in manifest hepatic encephalopathy". Acta Neurol. Scand. 130 (4): 260–7. doi:10.1111/ane.12217. PMID 24372275.
  16. Mendizabal M, Silva MO (2010). "Images in clinical medicine. Asterixis". N. Engl. J. Med. 363 (9): e14. doi:10.1056/NEJMicm0911157. PMID 20842766.
  17. Schiano TD (2010). "Clinical management of hepatic encephalopathy". Pharmacotherapy. 30 (5 Pt 2): 10S–5S. doi:10.1592/phco.30.pt2.10S. PMID 20412035.
  18. "File:Muehrcke's lines.JPG - Wikimedia Commons".

Template:WS Template:WH