Budd Chiari Syndrome

What is Budd Chiari Syndrome?

Budd Chiari syndrome is a rare disease produced by thrombotic or non-thrombotic hepatic venous outflow blockage. Dr. Budd explained the disease in 1845, and Dr. Chiari gave additional information regarding the primary pathologic explanation of the liver condition in 1899. The three main characteristics of Budd Chiari syndrome are enlargement of the liver, ascites, and sudden pain in the abdomen.

The majority of patients who have this syndrome usually also have the following underlying conditions:

  1. thrombotic diathesis
  2. polycythemia vera
  3. paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
  4. pregnancy and use of birth control pills
  5. tumors
  6. chronic inflammatory diseases
  7. clotting disorders
  8. infections

Signs & Symptoms

The majority of the patients who have Budd Chiari syndrome have the three chief manifestations:

  1. Ascites – abdomen becomes distended because of the fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity
  2. Pain in the abdomen – sudden in onset, accompanied by nausea and vomiting
  3. Hepatomegaly – enlargement of the liver, blood can flow toward the liver, but not away from it

The accumulation of blood inside the liver can destroy the liver cells. This may subsequently lead to jaundice or yellowish discoloration of the eyes and skin and problems in the kidney.


Usually Budd Chiari syndrome was brought about by a blood disorder, for instance polycythemia vera or Sickle cell disease. Furthermore, it can also be brought about by the use of birth control pills, pregnancy, liver cancer, liver trauma, infection, and autoimmune diseases.

The causes or underlying conditions that can cause Budd Chiari Syndrome are the following:

  1. hepatic vein thrombosis
  2. hepatic vein compression caused by a tumor
  3. pregnancy and the use of birth control pills
  4. infection
  5. blood disorders
  6. congenital venous webs
  7. inferior vena caval narrowing


The most common diagnostic tests to confirm Budd Chiari Syndrome are the following:

  1. MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  2. Ultrasound
  3. Liver biopsy

The liver cells taken from the liver biopsy will be examined under the microscope to confirm the disease. The fluid that had accumulated in the abdomen can also be collected for confirmatory testing.

The common manifestations of Budd Chiari Syndrome, which is Hepatomegaly, ascites and abdominal pain are not confirmatory for the diagnosis because it is also the symptoms of a lot of liver disorders.

It is really necessary that the patient undergo many diagnostic tests to help the doctor come out with the correct diagnosis.


If there is no treatment provided, Budd Chiari Syndrome can seriously injure the liver.

Here are the following treatments for Budd Chiari Syndrome:

  1. Drugs that can dissolve blood clots or lessen new blood clot formation can be prescribed.
  2. Low sodium intake can regulate the growth of ascites.
  3. Special surgeries can alleviate the blockage of blood in the liver.
  4. A liver transplant can be a last resort if the liver is severely injured.


budd chiari syndrome pictures

Abdominal distension (ascites) in Budd chiari syndrome

budd chiari syndrome pictures

Picture of Engorged veins in Budd chiari syndrome

budd chiari syndrome images

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2 comments on “Budd Chiari Syndrome
  1. Tracy says:

    I was diagnosed with Budd Chiari & PV with the JAK-2 virus 6 years ago. I need a liver transplant. A prescription to dissolve the blood clot in my liver was never even up for discussion. I have a TIPS that was placed in my liver. One of the issues about getting transplanted is that your MELD score will never show how sick you are. Unfortunately it cannot be measured by a true MELD alone

    • Amy says:

      I was just recently diagnosed with BCS and had a TIPS inserted last month. They have also found that I am positive for JAK-2 mutation and I have also developed HIT or Heparin Induced Thrombosis. Today I had a mammogram and have been called back due to right side asymmetry. I am curious how you are doing not and where you are with liver transplantation. At this point, my liver looks great, perfect liver enzymes and it is not enlarged.

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