A diagnosis of Budd Chiari Syndrome can lead to many questions, the most pressing of all being how long cn a person with Budd Chiari Syndrome expect to survive.
As a nonspecific syndrome, life expectancy can vary depending on the underlying causes of the symptoms.
Budd Chiari Syndrome is caused by the flow of blood from the Liver being blocked. This is often the result of any condition that would cause excessive blood clotting.
As such, Budd Chiari Syndrome is not necessarily a fatal disease, although mortality rates following the onset of Budd Chiari Syndrome are roughly 80%. If the underlying cause can be treated, then one could expect to live a normal life.
However, if the cause is untreatable, or the symptoms particularly severe, life expectancy can be drastically shortened. If a person is diagnosed with Budd Chiari Syndrome soon after the onset, much more can be done to treat the syndrome.
The mildest cases of Budd Chiari Syndrome can be treated through the use of anticoagulants and adjustments to diet to reduce sodium consumption. Unfortunately, the majority of cases will require more complicated treatments, and it is these cases that have the largest impact on life expectancy.
In a severe case, a person's life expectancy can be reduced to three years, with death being the result of Liver failure caused by blocked veins that have been left untreated.
The majority of patients with Budd Chiari Syndrome (up to two third) survive for up to ten years, but complications from blocked veins can cause other health issues such as internal bleeding that can further reduce life expectancy. The extent of blockage is also a factor in itself, with total vein blockages leading to death faster than partial blockages.
Liver transplants can increase a person's chances of surviving longer, although unsuccessful transplants can lead to further problems that once again reduce life expectancy.
Other areas of the body can also be impacted by Budd Chiari Syndrome, including the development of varicose veins, brain deterioration, as well as the normal progression of pregnancy.
Although three to ten years is the life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Budd Chiari Syndrome in the majority of cases, but ongoing research may contribute to greater expectations in the future. Additionally, if underlying causes can be addressed before Budd Chiari Syndrome is able to progress to the point of fatality, a permanent cure may be possible.
Unfortunately, since Budd Chiari Syndrome can also be the result of tumors, pre-existing disorders, infections and injury, these must be taken into account when calculating an estimate life expectancy, and the severity of these can reduce the life expectancy of a person with BCS to under three years.
Some of the treatment methods used to combat Budd Chiari Syndrome can result in surgery-caused deaths, although these are a small minority. Successful treatments have allowed patients to survive for up to 27 years, with long-term survival rates following a successful Liver transplants being as high as 87%.