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Alternative Names Return to topBudd-Chiari syndrome; Hepatic veno-occlusive disease
Definition Return to top
Hepatic vein obstruction is a blockage of the hepatic vein, which carries blood away from the liver.
Causes Return to top
Hepatic vein obstruction prevents blood from flowing out of the liver and back to the heart. This blockage can cause liver damage. Obstruction of this vein can be caused by a lump (tumor) pressing on the vessel, or by a clot (thrombus) in the vessel.
Most often, it is caused by conditions that make blood clots more likely to form, including:
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
One of the signs is swelling of the abdomen from fluid build-up (ascites)
Treatment Return to top
Treatment varies, depending on the cause of the blockage.
Possible Complications Return to top
Hepatic vein obstruction can get worse and lead to liver failure, which can be life-threatening.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if:
References Return to top
Zimmerman MA, Cameron AM, Ghobrial RM. Budd-Chiari syndrome. Clin Liver Dis. 2006;10:259-273.Update Date: 8/22/2008 Updated by: Christian Stone, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.