Published online Apr 27, 2014. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v6.i4.251
Revised: January 10, 2014
Accepted: February 20, 2014
Published online: April 27, 2014
AIM: To investigate the hepatic hemodynamics in the Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) using per-rectal portal scintigraphy (PRPS) and liver angioscintigraphy (LAS).
METHODS: Fourteen consecutive patients with BCS were evaluated by PRPS between 2003 and 2012. Ten of them underwent LAS and liver scan (LS) with Tc-99m colloid. Eleven patients had clinical manifestations and three were asymptomatic, incidentally diagnosed at PRPS. The control group included 15 healthy subjects. We used new parameters at PRPS, the liver transit time of portal inflow and the blood circulation time between the right heart and liver. PRPS offered information on the hepatic areas missing venous outflow or portal inflow, length and extent of the lesions, open portosystemic shunts (PSS), involvement of the caudate lobe (CL) as an intrahepatic shunt and flow reversal in the splenic vein. LAS was useful in the differential diagnosis between the BCS and portal obstructions, highlighting the hepatic artery buffer response and reversed portal flow. LS offered complementary data, especially on the CL.
RESULTS: We described three hemodynamic categories of the BCS with several subtypes and stages, based on the finding that perfusion changes depend on the initial number and succession in time of the hepatic veins (HVs) obstructions. Obstruction of one hepatic vein (HV) did not cause opening of PSS. The BCS debuted by common obstruction of two HVs had different hemodynamic aspects in acute and chronic stages after subsequent obstruction of the third HV. In chronic stages, obstruction of two HVs resulted in opening of PSS. The BCS, determined by thrombosis of the terminal part of the inferior vena cava, presented in the acute stage with open PSS with low speed flow. At least several weeks are required in the obstructions of two or three HVs for the spontaneous opening of dynamically efficient PSS. The CL seems to have only a transient important role of intrahepatic shunt in several types of the BCS.
CONCLUSION: Dynamic nuclear medicine investigations assess the extent and length of hepatic venous obstructions, open collaterals, areas without portal inflow, hemodynamic function of the CL and reverse venous flow.
Core tip: Per-rectal portal scintigraphy (PRPS) and liver angioscintigraphy (LAS) are reliable investigations of the liver hemodynamics in the Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS). Diagnosis of the number, length and succession in time of hepatic vein obstructions allows identification of hemodynamic varieties and stages of the BCS. Our new PRPS parameters, liver transit time and right heart to liver time, are used to diagnose obstructed hepatic veins, areas missing venous outflow or portal inflow, open collaterals, reverse splenic vein flow and hemodynamic role of the caudate lobe. LAS is useful in the differential diagnosis with portal occlusions, highlighting arterial-venous shunts and reverse portal flow.