Background/Aims: It is unclear whether treatment of patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) should be based on liver histology, as large histopathological studies have not been performed. We investigated the relationship between the histopathological findings and survival. Methods: We studied the clinical features and findings on biopsy specimens in 45 patients with BCS who were admitted to four tertiary referral medical centers. Histological findings, i.e. congestion, necrosis, inflammation and fibrosis, were graded. Survival was assessed in relation to histological findings and clinical features at the time of diagnosis as well as in relation to subsequent treatment with or without portosystemic shunting. Results: Centrilobular congestion, centrilobular necrosis, lobular inflammation and portal inflammation were not significantly related to survival. In addition, there was no association between either pericentral or periportal fibrosis and survival. Univariate analysis revealed that the prothrombin time and Child-Pugh score were significantly related to survival (P = 0.005 and P trend = 0.02, respectively). Multivariate analysis yielded the Child-Pugh score, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and treatment with portosystemic shunting as independent prognostic indicators. Conclusions: We found no evidence for a relationship between early liver pathology and survival. Child-Pugh score, serum ALT and portosystemic shunting appeared to be prognostic indicators for patients with BCS.

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Journal of Hepatology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam