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Current knowledge in pathophysiology and management of Budd-Chiari syndrome and non-cirrhotic non-tumoral splanchnic vein thrombosis

Virginia Hernández-Gea, Andrea De Gottardi, Frank W G Leebeek, Pierre-Emmanuel Rautou, Riad Salem, Juan Carlos Garcia-Pagan
Journal of Hepatology 2019 February 26
Budd-Chiari Syndrome (BCS) and non-cirrhotic non-tumoral portal vein thrombosis (NCPVT) are two rare disorders, with several similarities that are categorized under the term splanchnic vein thrombosis. Both disorders are frequently associated with an underlying pro-thrombotic disorder. They can cause severe portal hypertension and usually affect oung patients, negatively influencing life expectancy when the diagnosis and treatment is not done at an early stage. Yet, they have specific features that require individual considerations. The current review will focus on the available knowledge on pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of both entities. BCS is defined as the obstruction of hepatic venous outflow regardless of its causative mechanism or level of obstruction. This obstruction can be traced to the small hepatic venules up to the entrance of the inferior vein cava (IVC) into the right atrium. Hepatic outflow obstruction related to cardiac disease, pericardial disease or sinusoidal obstruction syndrome have different pathophysiological and clinical implications and are excluded from this definition. BCS is classified as primary when the obstruction originates in the vein and thrombosis is the main cause, or secondary when the vein is externally compressed (abscess, tumor). The focus of this review is on primary BCS. NCPVT refers to the presence of a thrombus in the main portal vein trunk and/or the left or right intrahepatic portal vein branches that may extend to the splenic vein and/or the superior or inferior mesenteric veins. Isolated splenic or mesenteric vein thrombosis are out of the scope of this review.


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