Hepatic vein obstruction (Budd-Chiari)


Definition

Hepatic vein obstruction is a blockage of the hepatic vein, which carries blood away from the liver.

Alternative Names

Budd-Chiari syndrome; Hepatic veno-occlusive disease

Causes

This EM Should be displayed at the top of the article section "Causes"

Hepatic vein obstruction prevents blood from flowing out of the liver and back to the heart. This blockage can cause liver damage. Obstruction of this vein can be caused by a tumor or growth pressing on the vessel, or by a clot in the vessel (hepatic vein thrombosis).

Most often, it is caused by conditions that make blood clots more likely to form, including:

Hepatic vein blockage is the most common cause of Budd-Chiari syndrome.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

One of the signs is swelling of the abdomen from fluid buildup (ascites). The liver is often swollen and tender.

Tests include:

Treatment

Treatment varies, depending on the cause of the blockage.

Your health care provider may recommend the following medicines:

Surgery may be recommended. This may involve:

Possible Complications

Hepatic vein obstruction can get worse and lead to liver failure, which can be life threatening.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if:

References

Hauser SC. Vascular diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 143.

Valla DC. Vascular disease of the liver. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 85.

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