Hepatic attenuation on CT

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Yuranga Weerakkody et al.

Hepatic attenuation on CT, reflected by Hounsfield values, depends on a combination of factors including the presence or absence, as well as the phase, of IV contrast administration.

Allowing for all these factors, the mean unenhanced attenuation value is around 55 HU 4.


Several intrinsic liver pathologies can cause a diffuse change in liver attenuation with increased hepatic fat being the most prevalent.

Diffusely increased attenuation
Diffusely decreased attenuation
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Article information

rID: 8020
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Increased hepatic attenuation
  • Descreased hepatic attenuation
  • High attenuation - Liver
  • Low attenuation - Liver
  • Hyperdense liver
  • Hyperdensity of the liver
  • Hepatic hyperdensity
  • Hypodensity of the liver
  • Hepatic hypodensity

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: decreased with diffuse hepatic steatosis
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  • Case 2: increased with amiodarone hepatotoxicity
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  • Case 3: increased with hemochromatosis
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  • Case 4: increased with amiodarone hepatotoxicity
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  • Case 5: increased in thalassemia
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