Some causes for an abnormal ultrasound include a fatty liver, cirrhosis, masses and jaundice. An ultra sound is an imaging test that is used to detect these different types of liver issues, notes WebMD. An abdominal ultrasound test can also detect medical conditions associated with other organs in the abdomen, such as the gallbladder, pancreas and spleen.
Liver cancer is another disease that can cause an abnormal abdominal ultrasound. An abnormal liver ultrasound can detect changes in the organ's size due to injury, infection or inflammation. A tumor or growth is also visible on this test. Similarly, if there is any fluid buildup in the abdomen, the test can detect this, as noted by eMedicineHealth.
Fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity is called ascites, and it is related to the liver problem cirrhosis, according to Cleveland Clinic. Doctors can use an ultrasound to confirm ascites and then assign a grade to it. There are four grades, which are dependent on the amount of fluid that is present.
An ultrasound test can take between 30 and 60 minutes. A doctor will review the results with the patient. Although an ultrasound can distinguish between a cyst that may contain fluid and a solid tumor, the test cannot detect if this tumor is malignant, states WebMD. In this case, a patient may need a biopsy.