Why use a stethoscope on my liver? - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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Why use a stethoscope on my liver?


Whilst my GP was conducting a medical on me this week, he used a stethoscope to listen to my liver. I didn’t ask him why at the time, and haven’t been able to find a reason on the ‘net, so I just wondered if anyone on here could throw any light on this for me, please...

11 Replies


That does seem very strange, my GP just felt around my liver, like you I'm a little confused on your GP using a stethoscope!! I hope someone can come up with an answer. Please take care of yourself Lynne


Search "Stethoscope to Liver"

Fill Ur boots. Here's one I made earlier. Chill 💊🤕

6. Measuring the size of the liver

Though this procedure is uncommon, a stethoscope can help measure the vertical length of the liver at the nipple line.

With the stethoscope placed beneath the right nipple, the index finger should be placed directly in the nipple line, down at belt level. By gently scratching the skin as the finger works its way up the nipple line, the stethoscope will yield a much duller sound than usual while the finger is over the liver.

Marking the beginning and ending points at which said dullness is heard yields a fair approximation of the liver length at the nipple line. A measurement of around 10 cm is considered normal.

GrahamB8 in reply to Hidden

That sounds like quite an arcane approach, but tomorrow is the day when everything starts to ramp up and intensify, with ultrasound, X-ray and blood tests all before Saturday lunch...

Your liver makes strange noises, it squeaks. If you are ever having a liver scan, ask does it have sound. I heard mine a few times pre transplant.

My Liver talk's to me.

It says "why were you trying to kill me, take that you b'stard."😊😊

I apologise, but it makes no difference, it just keeps on hurting me😢😢

Thank you for your repy, Liverpoolone

And can much be determined from the pitch and tone of the squeaks? I’ve never heard of this elsewhere, and wonder if any other parts of our body chat away to us like this...


Hi Graham, when you have your ultra sound ask if you can hear the sounds. I presume that it must be important because they record it a long with the scan. Maybe it's the blood flow through the liver that makes it squeak, it isn't the portal vein that's a different scan.

I’d imagine to listen to the Portal vein maybe 🤷‍♂️


Dr Heidi Fowler, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine.

Liver? I am thinking that the gurgling sounds may becoming from your stomach and intestinal tract due to parastalsis. It may be normal for you. If it is a new issue and is associated with other symptoms it may not be normal.

Source: HealthTap, healthtap.com/user_question...


Hi Graham,

Some healthcare professionals do use a stethoscope as part of a general liver examination to listen for specific vascular sounds and blood flow.

Best wishes


GrahamB8 in reply to Trust1

Thank you, Trust1

This was my GP, so he must have been listening for something specific. Anyway, he said everything sounded fine, so that sounded good to me...



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