Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2015;4(1):24-32. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2014.01031)
Budd-Chiari syndrome and liver transplantation.
Akamatsu N, Sugawara Y, Kokudo N
Budd-Chiari syndrome involves obstruction of hepatic venous outflow tracts at various levels from small hepatic veins to the inferior vena cava and is the result of thrombosis or its fibrous sequelae. There is a conspicuous difference in its etiology in the West and the East. Myeloproliferative disease predominates in the West and obstruction of the vena cava predominates in the East. The clinical presentation and clinical manifestations are so varied that it should be suspected in any patient with acute or chronic liver dysfunction. It should be treated with step-wise management. First-line therapy should be anticoagulation with medical treatment of the underlying illness, and interventional revascularization and TIPS are indicated in the event of a lack of response to medical therapy. Liver transplantation may be indicated as a rescue treatment or for fulminant cases with promising results. This step-by-step strategy has achieved a 5-year transplant-free survival rate of 70% and a 5-year overall survival rate of 90%. Living donor liver transplantation can also be used for patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome if deceased donor livers are scarce, but it requires a difficult procedure particularly with regard to venous outflow reconstruction.