Our goal is to provide a detailed review of venoocclusive disease (VOD), Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS), and congestive hepatopathy(CH), all of which results in hepatic venous outflow obstruction. This is the first article in which all three syndromes have been reviewed, enabling the reader to compare the characteristics of these disorders. The histological findings in VOID, BCS, and CH are almost identical: sinusoidal congestion and cell necrosis mostly in perivenular areas of hepatic acini which eventually leads to bridging fibrosis between adjacent central veins. Tender hepatomegaly with jaundice and ascites is common to all three conditions. However, the clinical presentation depends mostly on the extent and rapidity of the outflow obstruction. Although the etiology and treatment are completely different in VOID, BCS, and CH; the similarities in clinical manifestations and liver histology may suggest a common mechanism of hepatic injury and adaptation in response to increased sinusoidal pressure. (C) 2007 The WJG Press. All rights reserved.