Veno-Occlusive Disease

Veno-Occlusive Disease is a medical condition, in which small vein blockage in the liver occurs. Such a disease can happen at any age, but children at ages one to three are more likelyVeno-Occlusive Disease to have this disease, because they are having smaller blood vessels, than adults.

Veno-Occlusive Disease can be resulted from medications and other toxic substances to the liver including the anticancer drug Azathioprine, Aflatoxin, Dimethylnitrosamine and Senecio Leafs (used in Jamaica to make herbal tea). Small vein blockage can also be caused by radiation therapy, as well, by antibodies produced at the time of liver transplant rejection. Small vein blockage results in liver’s blood backup, lowering liver’s blood supply.

An insufficient supply of blood leads to damaged liver cells. Small vein blockage results in liver blood swelling, making the liver tender to touch. Fluids can leak from swollen liver surface and accumulate in the person’s abdomen, producing ascites. Blood backup in the liver is also raising portal vein pressure (hypertention) and in the vein that emptying into it. Such higher pressure can result in Esophageal Varices (esophagus varicose veins), which can hemorrhage and rupture. Usually such blockage dissapears quickly, and individuals usually recover with or without the need of treatment. However, some individuals die because of liver failure.

In other people, the portal vein pressure remains high and the damage causes cirrhosis. The only treatments are to stop use of medications or substance resulting in blockage. The exact disease course based on damage extent and whether or not it repeats. A chronic courses are common, especially when the Veno-Occlusive disease is resulted from herbal tea consumption consisting of toxic alkaloids.

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