Diagnostic utility of ultrasonography in hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction in a tropical country.
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The present study was undertaken to define the role of ultrasonography (US) in screening and diagnosis of hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction. Forty-five consecutive patients clinically suspected to have hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction were included in the study for screening by US and for assessment of patency or block in the hepatic vein (HV) and/or inferior vena cava (IVC). Four patients were excluded from the study. Eleven patients had a diagnosis other than hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction and all these patients were found to have patent HV and IVC. Thirty patients were finally diagnosed to have hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction. Using US, as a screening test 27 (90%) out of 30 such cases were correctly identified as cases of hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction and in these cases the site of block in hepatic venous outflow tract (major HV and/or IVC) was correctly diagnosed in 90% of the cases. Our results indicate that US is a sensitive and accurate test and should be the initial investigation for screening and identifying the site of obstruction in patients with hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction.