Background/aims: The results of liver transplantation for Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) are poorly known and the role and timing of the procedure are still controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the results of transplantation for BCS, focusing on overall outcome, on prognostic factors and on the impact of the underlying disease.
Methods: An enquiry on 248 patients representing 84% of the patients transplanted for BCS in the European Liver Transplantation Registry between 1988 and 1999.
Results: Of the 248 patients, 70.4% were female and 29.6% male. The mean age was 35.7 years. The overall actuarial survival was 76% at 1 year, 71% at 5 years and 68% at 10 years. 77% of deaths occurred in the first 3 months: 47% were due to infection and multiple organ failure, and 18% to graft failure or hepatic artery thrombosis. Late mortality (>1 year) occurred in nine patients, due to BCS recurrence in four of them. The only pre-transplant predictors of mortality on multivariate analysis (Cox) were impaired renal function and a history of a shunt.
Conclusions: Liver transplantation for BCS is an effective treatment, irrespective of the underlying cause, and should be considered before renal failure occurs.