What is Budd–Chiari syndrome

What is Budd–Chiari syndrome?

Have you ever listened about this term? If no, let’s know about it. It is a secondary to cancer and metastasis in the liver. It is actually rare disorder which narrows or obstructs the veins of the liver. It is a condition which is caused by occlusion of the hepatic veins that drain the liver. In this abdominal pain occurs and ascites and liver enlargement happens. It doesn’t occur too much of population. It generally occurs in 1 out of millions of people. This syndrome can be acute o even chromic.

Signs and Symptoms of Budd Chiari syndrome:

  1. Severe abdominal pain.
  2. Whitening of the eyes and yellow discoloration of the skin.
  3. Liver enlargement as well as spleen enlargement and even encephalopathy.
  4. Blood clotting or congenital webbing.
  5. Slower-onset form of Budd-Chiari syndrome. It may be painless.


The cause of the disease cannot be found actually in half of the patients sometimes. There are two types of Budd-Chiari. Firstly is Primary Budd-Chiari syndrome (75%) thrombosis of the Heptic vein. it is associated with some of these following: Polycythemis Vera, pregnancy, uses of oral Contraceptives, Hepatocellular carcinoma and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Secondary Budd-Chiari syndrome (25%): compression of hepatic vein by an outside structure for example tumor.
Are you thinking about the symptoms of it? Let’s have a quick view over it. Budd-Chiari syndrome can be also seen in infection named as tuberculosis or inferior vena caval stenosis. It leads to increased portal vein and hepatic sinusoid pressures as the flow of blood stagnates. Many patient faces Budd-Chiari syndrome in case of complication of Polycythemia Vera. Those who are suffering from PNH can have a great chance of risk of Budd-Chiari syndrome. It can diagnose mostly by ultrasound by studying about abdomen and angiography. It may be spider web vessels large collateral vessels or a hyper echoic cord replacing a normal vein. How can it be treated? Is there any treatment? Ye, a minority of patients can be treated medically with sodium restriction and diuretics to control ascites such as heparin and warfarin.


Some requires further intervention. Risky forms of Budd-Chiari can be treated with surgical shunts to divert blood flow around the liver. Patients having stenosis or vena caval obstruction cam benefit from angioplasty. To get best results in treatment doctors put shunts before the diagnosis for good results. Very effective and good treatment of Budd-Chiari syndrome is liver transplantation. It is usually reserved for patients having fulminat liver failure. Survival percentage increases after transplantation to about 69-87%. Some common complications also take place like rejection or venous thromboses and even bleeding due to anticoagulation.


Generally 2/3 of patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome are alive at 10 years. Survival is mainly highly depended on the underlying cause of the Budd-Chiari syndrome. This disease was named after George Budd who is a British physician and Hans Chiari who is an Austrian pathologist. Its specialty is cardiology.

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