Starry sky appearance (ultrasound)

A starry sky appearance refers to a sonographic appearance of the liver parenchyma in which there are bright echogenic dots throughout a background of decreased liver parenchymal echogenicity. Although usually associated with acute hepatitis, this sign has been found to have poor sensitivity and specificity 4.

Pathology

It is thought to occur due to the oedematous swelling of hepatocytes with a resultant decrease in the hepatic echogenicity. The altered acoustic properties between the portal venous radicles and hepatic lobules cause sonographic accentuation of the venule walls.

Aetiology
Ultrasound - general index
Share article

Article information

rID: 22775
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Starry sky appearance - ultrasound
  • Starry night appearance on ultrasound
  • Hepatic starry sky appearance - ultrasound
  • Hepatic starry night appearance - ultrasound
  • Starry sky appearance - ultrasound liver

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.