'Nipped in the Budd': hepatic venous outflow obstruction in evolution.
Karageorgiou H., Mookerjee RP., Patani NR., Pachiadakis I., Usiskin SI., Gillams A., Lees WR., Williams R., Douek M., Jalan R.
Hepatic venous thrombosis (Budd-Chiari) in evolution is a rare phenomenon and carries a high morbidity and mortality. We describe the case of a 39-year-old Bangladeshi lady who presented with severe abdominal pain secondary to a perforated duodenal ulcer and during her hospital admission developed an asymptomatic Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS). Our report highlights the important role of an inflammatory focus, and how this process with an associated reactive thrombocytosis may act as a trigger for the development of BCS in an individual with predisposing risk factors. Our patient had been on the contraceptive pill, and was homozygous for the C677T mutation of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, which results in hyperhomocysteinaemia. These pro-thrombotic risk factors were compounded by the thrombogenic potential of subsequent laparoscopic surgery, and resulted in an evolving thrombus that progressed into the inferior vena cava causing hepatic infarction. A particular feature of this case was the radiological demonstration of complete regression of the thrombus and the hepatic parenchymal changes, upon resolution of the inflammation and normalization of the platelet count. These changes occurred with oral anticoagulation as the only treatment modality, since our patient declined systemic thrombolysis. The demonstration of complete radiological resolution raises the question of how long one should continue oral anticoagulants and, indeed, whether in some instances a conservative approach may be the best management strategy for evolving BCS.