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Objective: Treatment of segmental obstruction of the inferior vena cava (SOIVC) with Z-expandable metallic stents (Z-EMS) is controversial and data on long-term follow-up are lacking. We aimed to evaluate the long-term outcomes of the use of a Z-EMS for Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) patients with SOIVC.

Materials and methods: Between August 2004 and December 2014, 37 consecutive BCS patients with SOIVC were referred for Z-EMS treatment and subsequently underwent follow-up in our department. Data were collected retrospectively and follow-up observations were made 1, 2, 2-5, and 5-10 years postoperatively.

Results: Percutaneous transluminal balloon angioplasty and Z-EMS placement were technically successful in all patients. Major procedure-related complications occurred in four of 37 patients (10.81%). Follow-up for 61.89 /-41.45 months in 37 patients indicated portal hypertension in one patient 4 months after stent placement and symptoms were resolved by transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunting. Hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in four patients and five patients died during follow-up. Reocclusion of the inferior vena cava occurred in four patients (10.81%, 4/41) and all reocclusions were managed by percutaneous transluminal balloon angioplasty. Cumulative 1-, 2-, 2-5-, and 5-10-year primary patency rates were 94.60% (35/37), 93.33% (28/30), 88.89% (24/27), and 85.0% (17/20), respectively. Cumulative 1-, 2-, 2-5-, and 5-10-year secondary patency rates were 100% at all time-points.

Conclusion: These data suggest that Z-EMS implantation is an efficacious, safe, and curative approach for BCS with SOIVC because satisfactory long-term outcomes were achieved. Long-term follow-up is required to ascertain stent patency and hepatocellular carcinoma occurrence.

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