Background and Objectives: Symptoms of Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) are often nonspecific or even absent; as a result radiographic imaging plays a critical role in diagnosis. The diagnosis is profoundly dependent on modern radiological imaging techniques, depending on the detection of thrombosis and/or stenosis of hepatic veins or the upper portion of the inferior vena cava. This study was hence conducted to evaluate the role of imaging in BCS.
Materials and Methods: This prospective study was conducted in 40 patients diagnosed with BCS over a period of three years. Patients with history of frequent abdominal pain, ascites, hepatomegaly, fever, hepatic encephalopathy and variceal bleeding were included. All patients underwent imaging tests like ultrasonography, or computed tomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Results: A total of 40 patients, with an average age of 35.13 ± 15.19 years, were included in our study. There was no significant difference in the size of liver and size of spleen estimated by the imaging techniques; however, the type of liver margin was better identified by the MRI. There was no significant difference in the caudate lobe-to-right lobe ratio, distribution of enhancement patterns, intrahepatic collaterals, inferior vena cava parameters, and ultrasonography spectral findings of the three hepatic veins between the modalities.MR venography was found to be better at identifying the different patterns in the right, middle and left hepatic veins.
Conclusions: Not only does MRI identify BCS stages and potential complications, these findings are diagnosed with an added advantage of no radiation exposure and reproducibility of findings.