Banti’s syndrome




Banti's syndrome is a rare condition where chronic congestive spleen enlargement causes it to destroy red blood cells too early. This syndrome is characterized by abnormal enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly) due to obstruction of blood flow in some veins and abnormally increased blood pressure (hypertension) within the veins of the liver (e.g., hepatic or portal veins), or the spleen (splenic veins).


  • Blood in vomit
  • Melena
  • Weakness
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal distress
  • Vague indigestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal distress
  • Nosebleed
  • Pallor
  • Mild jaundice
  • Brown skin pigmentation
  • Sallow skin
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Anemia
  • Flapping hand tremor
  • Muscle wasting
  • Ascites
  • Swelling
  • Leukopenia
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Increased portal vein hypertension


Banti's syndrome may occur due to a number of different factors causing obstruction of, and abnormally increased blood pressure (hypertension) within, certain veins of the spleen (splenic veins) or the liver (e.g., hepatic or portal veins). These may include abnormalities present at birth (congenital) of such veins, blood clots, or various underlying disorders causing inflammation and obstruction of veins (vascular obstruction) of the liver, such as cirrhosis. Increased arsenic intake has also been implicated in some cases. Also, cases have occurred in patients taking long-term azathioprine, particularly after kidney transplantation.


The diagnosis of Banti's syndrome my be confirmed by a thorough clinical evaluation and a variety of specialized tests, particularly advanced imaging techniques such as a splenic venography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Treatment of Banti's syndrome is dependent upon the cause. If a contributing factor such as arsenic or azathioprine is identified, the exposure should be stopped.

The main clinical problem is bleeding from esophageal or gastric swollen blood vessels (varices). Active bleeding may be treated with vasoconstrictor drugs or other methods used to treat portal hypertension. Recurrent bleeding may require that blood flow be rerouted by a surgical shunt. An orphan drug for bleeding esophageal varices, Ethamolin, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988.


  • NIH