Fatty Liver on Ultrasound & Fatty Liver Images

One of the common ways to diagnose liver disorders and diseases (including fatty liver) is an abdominal ultrasound test.

Using fatty liver ultrasound, it is possible to analyze and confirm the existence or non-existence of fatty liver.

The abdominal ultrasound is a painless test that uses sound waves to produce images of your liver, and the entire process usually takes less than 15 minutes, and it is required to fast for at least 6.


For accurate results, you should avoid eating fresh fruits, fried food, milk, eggs, and bread the day before the liver ultrasound test.

How an Abdominal Ultrasound room typically looks like

fatty liver on ultrasound

You will be asked to lie on your back for this test. A special Ultrasound Gel will be rubbed on your abdomen to help send the sound waves better and produce correct liver ultrasound images. Your health-care provider will then move the ultrasound sensor around different area of your abdominal, including your liver. He may ask you to hold your breath at times and/or change positions.

The liver ultrasound pictures helps your doctor to confirm or rule out fatty liver disease, how your liver functions, and whether it’s enlarged or not. In other words, it’s a very useful tool for diagnosing a fatty liver.

Healthy Liver Ultrasound picture

Fatty Liver Images

In the liver ultrasound picture sample above, it shows a typical healthy liver, at normal size, with no signs of a liver disorder. A liver specialist would come to the conclusion that the liver is perfectly normal.

Now lets take a look of a Fatty Liver on Ultrasound

Fatty Liver Images

You can actually see fatty liver images in the ultrasound above (the black area is fat that covers the liver). Fatty Liver is a very common reason for performing an abdominal ultrasound. In fact, it’s the most common liver disease in the world so performing a fatty liver ultrasound is one of the things many people go through to diagnose the disease.

I also recommend you to read full details on liver ultrasound preparation.

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  1. Danz
    Danz says:

    What percentage of the liver needs to be “fatty” before the ultra sound will even detect fatty liver? I heard at least 30%. Is that correct?

  2. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    Dear Doctor, I just recieved results from blood work. My alt level was at 57. Should I have an ultrasound done?

  3. Sherri
    Sherri says:

    Hi I have been throwing up for no good reason now for 3 months. It will wake me up out of a dead sleep and I could vomit for a long time. I went to Dr. And had ultrasound on my gallbladder. They said that it was normal but it showed a fatty liver. Is this something I should be concerned about? I really just don’t feel good at all.

  4. Sadauki
    Sadauki says:

    The second ultrasound picture portrayed as fatty liver shows the right kidney. Your explanation could mislead people to think that the image of the right kidney is the fat in the liver. Please upload a better , more elaborate and clearer picture of fatty liver. Thanks.

    • Dave
      Dave says:

      I am an ultrasound tech with 36 years experience. I agree this is a fatty liver but fat is hyper echoic (bright echos) not hypo echoic (dark or black echos). Your description is somewhat misleading. Ultrasound is a tissue density diagnosis. The density range is from black (low density) representing, urine, blood, a cyst, bile or any fluid filled pathology to a very bright echo such as gallstones, kidney stones or bone (high density). Gross fatty infiltrates present as a very bright liver parenchyma or steatosis. Generally a comparison of the liver is made to the density of the right renal cortex. In this case the liver is much more brighter that the renal cortex. In severe cases of fatty infiltration the acoustic penetration is greatly reduced resulting in poor penetration of sound through the liver parenchyma.

  5. holly
    holly says:

    Hi. I have elevated liver enzymes, and had a liver uxs today. I noticed some solid black spots on the liver during the uxs. What could those be? I have zero alcohol intake, have recently lost 65 pounds (over 1 year) and have no other questionable blood results. Any ideas?

    • Dave
      Dave says:

      Holly, black is not solid. In fact just the opposite! Black is a cyst. Your liver enzymes are elevated, I would assume, because you still have fatty infiltrates in your liver. Check your triglycerides. Have you tried Milk Thistle to cleanse your liver?

  6. Josie
    Josie says:

    My daughter was admitted to the hospital with a Alt of 34 it is now a 91. They let her out and still haven’t found a diagnosis!! She is only 21! I am worried, they told us to see a GI, which we called and no apt till end of January.

    • Mark Bar-Gomel
      Mark Bar-Gomel says:

      Hi Josie,

      I’m sorry to hear that. Can you please post your daughter’s full blood test results?
      In addition, has she done an abdominal ultrasound yet?

      Waiting for your reply,
      Dr. Mark Bar-Gomel

  7. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    My son (14) has elevated liver enzymes. They did a second test but never told me the results. Instead, I got a call telling me that we needed a liver ultrasound. What could be the reasons for this? Are there any diseases I might want to be prepared for?

  8. Saeed A Niazi
    Saeed A Niazi says:

    Dears , the only treatment of gall stone/stones is CHOELYCYSTECTOMY .
    DR.SAEED A .NIAZI ,Paediatric Gastroenterologist,Pakistan.

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