Budd-Chiari syndrome: Spectrum of appearances of acute, subacute, and chronic disease with magnetic resonance imaging

Tara C. Noone, Richard C. Semelka, Evan S. Siegelman, N. Cem Balci, Shahid M. Hussain, Pyo Nyun Kim, Donald G. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe our collective experience in the magnetic resonance (MR) investigation of patients with proven acute, subacute, and chronic Budd-Chiari syndrome and to demonstrate the spectrum of appearances on T1- and T2-weighted as well as dynamic post-gadolinium spoiled gradient-echo imaging. All patients with proven Budd-Chiari syndrome who underwent MR examinations between June, 1992 and October, 1998 were included in the study. Fourteen patients were included in the study: four with acute, three with subacute, three with chronic, and four with acute superimposed on either subacute (two) or chronic (two) Budd-Chiari syndrome. MR imaging features were retrospectively evaluated to determine: a) liver morphology, b) pattern of signal intensity (SI) on T1-weighted images, c) pattern of SI on T2 weighted images, d) dynamic enhancement characteristics, e) presence or absence of visible venous thrombosis, and f) presence or absence of venous macroscopic collaterals. The MR findings were correlated with surgical, histopathological, and laboratory data to determine imaging characteristics related to the chronicity of the disease process. Hepatic venous thrombosis or absence of hepatic venous flow was demonstrated in all patients in the study. In the four patients with acute Budd-Chiari syndrome, the liver periphery was moderately low signal on T1 and moderately high signal on T2- weighted images relative to the central liver; both early and late gadolinium - enhanced images revealed diminished peripheral enhancement. In the three patients with subacute Budd-Chiari syndrome, the liver periphery was moderately low signal on T1, and moderately high signal on T2-weighted images, while early and late gadolinium-enhanced images revealed heterogenously increased enhancement within the liver periphery. In the three patients with chronic Budd-Chiari syndrome, the SI differences between peripheral and central liver were minimal on T1- and T2-weighted images, and enhancement differences were also minimal. Extensive bridging intrahepatic and capsular venous collaterals were visualized in chronic cases. In the four patients with acute Budd-Chiari syndrome superimposed on more chronic disease, a combination of gadolinium enhancement patterns was observed on MR images. Enhancement patterns between central and peripheral liver were different for acute, subacute, and chronic Budd-Chiari syndromes, suggesting differentiation between these phases of the disease process. Application of this pattern approach permitted recognition of acute changes superimposed on more chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Keywords

  • Budd- Chiari syndrome
  • Cirrhosis
  • Gadolinium
  • Hepatic veins, MR
  • Hepatic veins, obstruction
  • Liver, MR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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