What is it?

Budd-Chiari syndrome, also referred to as Hepatic vein thrombosis is an obstruction in the hepatic veins of the liver caused by a blood clot. This condition blocks the drainage system of the liver, impeding blood flow back to the heart. Without proper blood flow, the liver stops getting the fresh oxygen it needs to function. This can severely damage the liver and may lead to liver failure.

3 Alikes with Budd–Chiari Syndrome

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Budd–Chiari Syndrome.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Hepatic vein thrombosis

Signs & symptoms

Not everyone with Budd Chiari syndrome will have noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the condition. For those who do, the most common symptoms are buildup of fluid in their abdomen and an enlarged liver. This is caused by pressure behind the blockage.
Other symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vomiting blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Enlarged spleen
- Swelling of lower limbs
- Abdominal pain (mainly in the upper right part of the abdomen)
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)


A diagnosis of Budd-Chiari syndrome is made based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, a detailed medical history, and a variety of specialized tests. A procedure in which a radiographic dye is administered into the body to allow for x-rays of the blood vessels (angiography) is often used to aid diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) and ultrasound are also used as diagnostic procedures. Surgical removal and microscopic evaluation of liver tissue (biopsy) may be helpful in diagnosis of Budd-Chiari syndrome.


Treatments for Budd-Chiari syndrome are aimed to dissolve blood clots and to help improve blood flow in the liver. Treatments are usually drug therapy, non-surgical procedures, and surgery:
- Drug therapy: drugs to dissolve the blood clots. In addition, the blood-thinning drug warfarin is often prescribed to prevent future clots.
- Procedures: There are two non-surgical procedures used in treating Budd-Chiari syndrome: transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty:
The transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a radiologic procedure in which a stent (a tubular device) is placed in the middle of the liver to reroute the blood flow.
In the percutaneous transluminal angioplasty procedure, the doctor inserts a catheter (a thin, hollow tube with a balloon at the tip) through the skin and into a blood vessel. The catheter is guided to the area where the clot is located. When the catheter reaches the clot, the balloon is inflated to widen the vein. A stent may be placed at the site to keep the vein open.
- Surgery: If you have liver failure (the liver no longer functions adequately), a liver transplant is the usual treatment.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free