This study was designed to evaluate duplex and color-flow Doppler imaging as potential noninvasive methods of diagnosing patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome and following them after surgery. Five patients with confirmed hepatic venoocclusive disease were imaged. All five underwent duplex Doppler examinations; three were also evaluated with color-flow Doppler. The hepatic vasculature was examined in all five patients; decompressive mesoatrial shunts were present and were evaluated in four of the five patients. Color-flow Doppler precisely defined intrahepatic, portal, and inferior vena caval circulatory dynamics. Correlation with angiography was excellent. In the two patients in whom hepatic vasculature was evaluated with duplex Doppler alone, the results were less impressive. Intrahepatic flow abnormalities were identified, but the sites of occlusion were not determined convincingly. Signals transmitted from the heart and the inability to visualize the hepatic veins made duplex Doppler evaluation problematic. Duplex Doppler was able to define patency and the direction of flow in the portal vein and inferior vena cava. Our results suggest that color-flow Doppler is an excellent technique for the initial evaluation of patients suspected of having Budd-Chiari syndrome. In the evaluation of decompressive mesoatrial shunts, color-flow Doppler produced dramatic images. However, both duplex and color-flow Doppler were highly accurate in determining the patency of decompressive shunts. Either duplex or color-flow Doppler may be used as the primary imaging procedure to determine shunt patency.