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Zeman Robert K.; Gordon, Stuart C. M.D.; Poison, Debra J. M.D.; Shirkhoda, Ali M.D.
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: August 1991
Lessons in Clinical Radiology: PDF Only

A 25-year-old primigravida with third-trimester pre-eclampsia developed severe right upper quadrant pain, marked serum aminotransferase elevation, and disseminated intravascular coagulation after cesarean delivery. Computed tomography of the liver showed a right hepatic abnormality that on magnetic resonance imaging had the appearance of hemorrhage; partial thrombosis of the right hepatic vein extending to the inferior vena cava was also seen. Anticoagulation was begun and the patient completely recovered; follow-up imaging 8 months later was normal. This case suggests that nonfatal forms of Budd-Chiari syndrome may complicate pre-eclampsia; predisposition to partial venous outflow obstruction in the pre-eclamptic patient may be pathogenetically related to disseminated intravascular coagulation. This entity may be clinically confused with, or misdiagnosed as, spontaneous hepatic hemorrhage, with or without capsular rupture. In such circumstances, magnetic resonance may be diagnostically useful.

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