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Clin Radiol. 1996 Nov;51(11):775-84.

Radiological intervention in Budd-Chiari syndrome: techniques and outcome in 18 patients.

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Department of Clinical Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK.


We reviewed our experience of the therapeutic role of radiology in Budd-Chiari syndrome. Patients with stenosis and/or occlusion of the main hepatic veins and/or inferior vena cava (IVC) are suitable for radiological intervention (35% in our series). Eighteen patients (mean age 37.4 years) have undergone radiological intervention over the past 8 years. The site of obstruction was the hepatic veins in 12/18 patients while 6/18 patients had both hepatic vein and IVC obstruction, which in two was due to tumour thrombus. One patient had repeated dilatations of a mesocaval shunt; 49 angiographic venous dilatations were performed (18 during initial intervention, 31 on review) including 10 recanalizations of occlusions. A combined transhepatic-transjugular approach was used for 10/49 procedures. Thrombolysis was performed in 5/18 and stent insertion in 6/18 patients. Three serious complications occurred (IVC stent migration, hepatic artery pseudoaneurysm, myocardial puncture). Follow-up, after initial intervention, has continued for a mean of 24.2 months (range 4 days-92 months). Symptoms related to hepatic venous outflow obstruction were fully relieved in 10/18 (56%) patients and partially relieved in 4/18 (22%) patients. Close monitoring (and re-intervention) during the early post-intervention period is needed because 28% of initial venous dilatations failed to provide adequate venous return in the first instance. Once the patient is stabilized regular review is mandatory as HV restenosis is common after 10 months or more follow-up. The efficacy and safety of radiological intervention make it the preferred first line of treatment in selected patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome.

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