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Budd-Chiari Syndrome

Budd-Chiari syndrome is a very rare medical condition that affects the hepatic veins in the liver. The disorder is characterized by narrowing or the occurrence of an obstruction of the veins. If left untreated the condition can be fatal.

Furthermore, Budd Chiari Syndrome may have several other names. These can be:

  • Budd’s Syndrome
  • Chiari’s Disease
  • Chiari-Budd Syndrome
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease
  • Rokitansky’s Disease

Not every individual with Budd-Chiari Syndrome will experience the symptoms listed below. The severity of the condition will vary from one individual to the other. The site of the affected veins will also affect the severity of the disorder. As an example, if the major hepatic veins are involved, there will be high blood pressure in the veins carrying blood from the GI tract back to the heart. Portal hypertension will occur.

There is no direct cause of the disorder; however, several medical conditions can trigger clotting to occur in the liver. These conditions are:

  • Polycythemia
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Connective tissue disorder
  • injury

The following are some of the most common symptoms of Budd-Chiari syndrome.

  • Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
  • Hepatomegaly or liver enlargement,
  • Ascites or the accumulation of water in the abdomen causing enlargement of the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Splenomegaly


The treatment for the disorder will depend on several factors including where it developed and how severe the case is. In cases where symptoms can occur suddenly and the cause of the problem is a blood clot, thrombolytic drugs can be used to dissolve clots. Anticoagulant drugs are also used for long-term treatment especially when clots are recurring or prevent clots from enlarging.

Surgery is another option in instances when a vein is blocked or narrowed. The surgery is called angioplasty. Transjugular intrahepatic portal-systemic shunting or TIPS is a procedure where an alternate route is created for blood flow. This will bypass the liver altogether.

For more information about the syndrome, please visit the following links:

If you think you are suffering from Budd Chiari Syndrome you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Budd Chiari Syndrome as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).