Favourable outcome of hepatic veno-occlusive disease in a renal transplant patient receiving azathioprine, treated by portacaval shunt. Report of a case and review of the literature

Digestion. 1984;30(3):185-90. doi: 10.1159/000199104.


Veno-occlusive disease (VOD) developed in a 45-year-old white male 2 years after cadaveric kidney transplantation while receiving combined immunosuppressive therapy with prednisone and azathioprine. Early clinical signs at presentation included ascites and tender hepatomegaly. The diagnosis of VOD was established at laparoscopy and by histological examination of liver biopsies. Azathioprine was discontinued. Gross ascites refractory to medical treatment and decreasing liver function required surgical treatment by portacaval shunt. Transient postoperative complications were hepatic encephalopathy and considerable hyperbilirubinaemia. 8 months later the patient is well, with stable renal function and no clinical signs of hepatic disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Azathioprine / adverse effects*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury*
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Hepatic Veins / pathology*
  • Hepatic Veins / surgery
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portacaval Shunt, Surgical*


  • Azathioprine