In this paper, an automatic method is proposed to recognize the liver on clinical 3D CT images. The proposed method effectively use statistical shape model of the liver. Our approach consist of three main parts: (1) model training, in which shape variability is detected using principal component analysis from the manual annotation; (2) model localization, in which a fast Euclidean distance transformation based method is able to localize the liver in CT images; (3) liver recognition, the initial mesh is locally and iteratively adapted to the liver boundary, which is constrained with the trained shape model. We validate our algorithm on a dataset which consists of 20 3D CT images obtained from different patients. The average ARVD was 8.99%, the average ASSD was 2.69mm, the average RMSD was 4.92mm, the average MSD was 28.841mm, and the average MSD was 13.31%.