Fatty Liver Images - Real Pictures, Ultrasound & Non-Alcoholic

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Sangeeta Sharma, last updated on 12 December 2022| min read
Fatty Liver Images - Real Pictures, Ultrasound & Non-Alcoholic

Quick Summary

  • Fatty liver is a condition where fat accumulation occurs in the liver cells. It can be easily detected by looking at the fatty liver images on an ultrasound.
  • Fatty liver can be caused by various factors, including obesity, diabetes, and alcohol consumption.
  • Fatty liver can lead to serious health problems, such as liver damage and liver cancer.

The human body is composed of various vital organs, each working in sync to assist in the smooth functioning of the body. The liver is one such organ, the largest gland in the body, and is known for carrying out approximately 500 essential chores. 

Thus, any anomaly associated with the liver could be a potential risk to life. One such common problem is fatty liver. A fatty liver is a condition where fat accumulation occurs in the liver cells. It can be easily detected by looking at the fatty liver images on an ultrasound. 

In this write-up, we shall talk more about fatty liver, featuring the fatty liver images as well as the liver damage images for better familiarity.

What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver basically refers to excess fat accumulation in the liver cells, also known as hepatocytes. This interferes with the basic functioning of the liver. Fatty liver can be of two types:

  1. Alcoholic Fatty liver (AFL): This is the most common cause of Fatty liver occurring due to excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Non-alcoholic Fatty liver (NAFL): It may occur due to infections, certain drugs, etc.

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Causes of Fatty Liver

The liver cells become a loaded storage house of fat molecules in the fatty liver. This happens when the body is incapable of metabolising the extra fat. Several factors cause the accumulation of fat in the liver. Some of them include the following:

  1. Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Too much alcohol can potentially hamper the body's fat breakdown metabolism, resulting in alcoholic fatty liver disease.   
  2. Obesity or being overweight is another cause of fatty liver. High levels of fats such as triglycerides in the bloodstream are a kind of indication of extra fat being stored in the liver.  
  3. Diabetes Mellitus or Insulin resistance: High levels of blood glucose or insulin resistance when body cells cannot take in the glucose molecules and use them contributes to fat accumulation in the liver.  
  4. Pregnancy, side effects of the medicines, hepatitis infection, namely hepatitis C, or genetic factors are the less common causes

Fatty Liver Images

Ultrasound or Sonography is one of the safest and cheapest methods for diagnosing fatty liver disease. It's a kind of scan that provides adequate fatty liver images to assist the medical practitioner in delivering a good diagnosis. 

How does the Ultrasound show fatty liver images? 

  1. Ultrasound uses a few comparison edges to diagnose if an individual suffers from fatty liver. The parenchymal echogenicity of the kidney is compared to that of the liver. 
  2. In case of a normal or healthy individual, the echogenicity or the echotexture of the parenchyma of the spleen and renal cortex appears to be the same or slightly lower than that of the liver. However, in diseased conditions, i.e. in fatty liver, the echogenicity of the liver is greatly elevated than the renal cortex and spleen. 
  3. The reason behind this is essentially the fatty infiltration. When the fatty liver becomes more serious, the diaphragm loses its definition and becomes unclear, and the liver appears brighter. 
  4. In the Liver Cirrhosis stage, the liver overall appears as coarse or a heterogeneous structure.  
  5. The fatty liver ultrasound images above depict the high echogenicity or brighter patches. Also, a fair comparison between the spleen, renal cortex, and liver can be made. 

How to understand the fatty liver ultrasound images? 

The fatty liver ultrasound images of the liver appear much brighter (hyperechoic) as compared to the normal liver images. More brightness means more severity of fatty liver disease. However, too much brightness shows a low-definition fatty liver ultrasound image.

Grades of Fatty liver

Ultrasound is a non-invasive and cost-effective procedure that helps elevate the level of fat accumulated in the liver or the degree of damage as the focal or diffuse alterations in the liver parenchyma. The grades of fatty liver are as follows: 

  1. Score 0 suggests the absence of this condition, i.e. fatty liver. The echo texture, the appearance of intrahepatic vessels, the parenchymal layer of the liver, and the diaphragm are normal here. 
  2. Score 1 indicates mild accumulation of fat on the liver. A slight increase in the echogenicity of the liver is seen in this case. However, the wall of the portal vein and the diaphragm can be visualised as normal. 
  3. Score 2 fatty liver consists of moderate level severity. Here, the echogenicity of the liver is moderately increased. The diaphragm and portal vein wall appear to be slightly impaired.
  4. Score 3 is a level at which the severity of the liver disease is extremely high. A marked increase in the echotexture of the liver can be visualised at this stage. The posterior end of the liver lobe, along with the wall of the portal vein and diaphragm, are poorly visible or, at times, can even lose their visibility when the fatty liver reaches score 3. 


Patients with fatty liver are often asymptomatic. Hence they are usually diagnosed accidentally. They only show symptoms in the later stages when the disease has advanced. Fatty liver images help diagnose and understand the progression of the disease.

We hope this article informs you everything you want to know about fatty liver and its ultrasound images. In case you have any other queries, feel free to contact us! At HexaHealth, we ensure that every patient is not only getting the right treatment but is also educated about his or her health concerns. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The fatty liver ultrasound images appear brighter or have high echogenicity compared to the adjacent organs in the frame. 

The notable difference between alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver is alcohol consumption. That is, excess alcohol intake leads to alcoholic fatty liver, whereas non-alcoholic fatty liver is caused by other reasons such as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, etc.

Yes, besides alcohol consumption, there are other causes of fatty liver too, namely, obesity, diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, pregnancy, side effects of medicines, and hepatitis infection.  


Fatty liver can be either of the two types, i.e. alcoholic fatty liver and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Also, the causes of both types vary from one another. 


The three most common signs of fatty liver are abdominal pain, weight loss, and jaundice symptoms.


A doctor would examine the fatty infiltration of the liver ultrasound images and correlate it with the degree of alcohol consumption. Also, the patient could be asked for a few blood examinations, such as liver function tests.  


Basic lifestyle changes such as weight loss, discontinuing alcohol consumption, etc., can help an individual get rid of fatty liver. However, it's always better to seek advice from the health care provider at the right time because it gets too late in the disease. 


Scarring of the liver, along with the enlargement of the spleen and the blood vessels beneath, can make the stomach appear bigger in fatty liver disease. 


Normally the fatty liver does not show any symptoms unless the disease takes an evil turn; however, the general signs such as abdominal pain, nausea, or discomfort in the upper right region of the stomach become evident in some cases.   


No, it is found that about 20% of heavy drinkers develop fatty liver; however, there are also chances of others showing symptoms such as the enlarged liver. 


Yes, it is possible to reverse the adversity of alcoholic fatty liver by discontinuing alcohol consumption. In fact, it's been found that withdrawal of alcohol from the routine can even help the liver get back to normal within just two weeks. 


A blood test named GGT or Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase is used to assess the functioning of the liver, especially in cases of high alcohol consumption. 


A fatty liver begins to heal if you stop drinking alcohol; that is, the damage begins to resolve. 


When your liver begins to heal, you can feel it yourself in the form of positive changes such as vanishing abdominal pain and swelling, disappearing jaundice symptoms, etc. You can also get it checked through ultrasound and blood investigations. 


Updated on : 12 December 2022

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Sangeeta Sharma

Sangeeta Sharma

BSc. Biochemistry I MSc. Biochemistry (Oxford College Bangalore)

6 Years Experience

She has extensive experience in content and regulatory writing with reputed organisations like Sun Pharmaceuticals and Innodata. Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical conten...View More

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