Health impact of hepatic-venous-occlusive disease in a small town in Ethiopia—Case study from Tahtay koraro district in Tigray region, 2017

Autoři: Kissanet Tesfay Weldearegay aff001;  Mekonnen Gebremichael Gebrekidan aff002;  Alefech Adissu Gezahegne aff001
Působiště autorů: Mekelle University College of Health Science School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Mekelle, Ethiopia aff001;  Tigray Regional Health Bureaus, Mekelle, Ethiopia aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224659



Hepatic venous-occlusive disease is blockage of microscopic veins in the liver causing 20–50% mortality. Ingestion of pyrrolizidine alkaloid plant, radiation therapy, and post-bone-marrow-transplant reactions are the commonest causes. In Ethiopia, a venous-occlusive disease outbreak was identified in 2002 in Tahtay Koraro district, Tigray. Suspected due to ingestion of the toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid plant Ageratum conyzoids, found throughout the district. We aimed to describe the surveillance data of venous-occlusive disease from September 2006 to August 2016 in Tahtay koraro district, Ethiopia, 2017.


We defined a possible Hepatic venous-occlusive disease case as any patient with abdominal pain for at least 2 weeks, abdominal distention, and hepato-splenomegaly during September 2006-August 2016. We reviewed previous district line lists, weekly reports, and clinical records to identify and describe cases. Agricultural interventions were obtained from the agricultural offices of the district.


We identified 179 possible cases with 83 deaths with a case-fatality rate of 46.3%. Among cases, 110 (61.5%) were males and 113 (63%) were >15 years. In total, 164 (91.6%) cases were from one village (Kelakil). The pick number of cases of VOD in this village was during 2008/09 which was 1076. The highest incidence (86/100,000) occurred in 2008. During the study period, 2,746 years of potential life were lost due to Hepatic venous-occlusive disease. Mechanical removal of the Ageratum started in 2011.


Hepatic venous-occlusive disease was an ongoing problem in Tahtay Koraro; However, the problem has largely been alleviated by displacing people from the affected area and removing the causative weed. More research is needed to understand why Kelakil village was more affected despite the widespread presence of the weed. Chemical and mechanical removal of the Ageratum could strengthen intervention activities.

Klíčová slova:

Age groups – Alcohol consumption – Alkaloids – Ethiopia – Flowering plants – Ingestion – Liver diseases – Weeds


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11