Hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a severe complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). When monitored with hand-held color Doppler ultrasonography during day -7 to +35 around SCT, reversed blood flow in the segmental branches of the portal vein was detected in nine of 56 patients who had undergone SCT. Three of nine patients had clinical evidence of VOD, but six patients did not fulfill the criteria for diagnosis of VOD initially. Two patients progressed to clinical VOD at a later date and the reversed portal flow disappeared with or without treatment for VOD in the other four patients. Monitoring for reversed portal flow with color Doppler ultrasonography may be a useful tool for the early diagnosis of VOD, and may improve prognosis by allowing early initiation of treatment.
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