Ultrasonography, computed tomography and 99mTc liver scanning are all useful in diagnosis of patients with the Budd-Chiari syndrome. In a study to determine their comparative value characteristic findings were recorded in all nine patients at ultrasonography and in seven patients at computed tomography. In contrast 99mTc liver scan showed a characteristic pattern in only one of eight patients. In our experience intrahepatic venous abnormalities were seen better at ultrasonography than at computed tomography. In addition, abnormality in the direction of blood flow could be detected by pulsed Doppler examination. Ultrasonography is relatively inexpensive, readily accessible, does not require administration of radiation or contrast agents and therefore should be the primary non-invasive investigation of patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome, or those at risk of developing it.
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