J Clin Pathol 29:788-794 doi:10.1136/jcp.29.9.788
  • Research Article

A case of veno-occlusive disease of the liver in Britain associated with herbal tea consumption.


Veno-occlusive disease of the liver with clinical and pathological features similar to those of the condition occurring in the Caribbean is described in a young woman resident in Britain. The diagnosis was made from liver biopsies and hepatic venography and was confirmed at necropsy. Small amounts of pyrroliziding alkaloids were recovered from a sample of mate (Paraguay) tea, owned by the patient, to which she was addicted. It seems probable that the consumption of large amounts of this tea over a period of years was the cause of the hepatic disease.