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News

Ultrasonography in patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome

Doctors from Germany present a comprehensive description of sonomorphological signs in Budd-Chiari syndrome in a study in the latest Journal of Hepatology.

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In this study, Dr Bita Boozari and colleagues analyzed sonomorphological signs of Budd-Chiari syndrome and their potential for prognosis prediction.

The researchers included 45 consecutive patients in their study.

They evaluated sonomorphological signs, mean values of laboratory and color Doppler data in different therapeutic groups, and survival.

The research team identified specific ultrasound signs at the level of the hepatic veins and at the level of the caval vein in 71% and 33% of patients, respectively.

They also identified frequent non-specific signs: splenomegaly (78%), inhomogeneous liver parenchyma (76%), intrahepatic collaterals (73%), caudate lobe hypertrophy (67%), ascites (56%) and extrahepatic collaterals (44%).

Overall, Dr Boozari’s team found that a combination of specific signs and “caudate lobe hypertrophy” gave the highest predictive value for identifying patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome.

In addition, they found that mean survival was significantly different between the patients with or without portal hypertension, and with or without portal vein thrombosis.

Dr Boozari’s team concluded, “We present a comprehensive description of sonomorphological signs in Budd-Chiari syndrome”.

“The combination of ultrasound signs “altered hepatic and/or caval veins” and “caudate lobe hypertrophy” was the best strategy to diagnose Budd-Chiari syndrome”.

“Patients with portal vein thrombosis or portal hypertension have a poor prognosis.”

J Hepatol 2008; 49(4): 572-80

09 September 2008

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