Epidural venous congestion

Dr Balint Botz et al.

Epidural venous congestion represents the pathological dilatation of the spinal epidural venous plexus, and is typically a complication of other pathologies. 

Radiculopathy caused by the dilated epidural veins is not uncommon 1

Several spinal and pelvic diseases can result in secondary epidural venous engorgement:

  • vertabral artery occlusion 2
  • inferior vena cava agenesis (rare) 3
  • pelvic venous congestion due to external compression (e.g. distended bladder) 1
  • lumbar spinal canal stenosis 4

As the vertebral venous system is valveless, extraspinal venous congestion can rapidly involve these veins 1

MRI is the method of choice for imaging spinal epidural venous plexus pathology. Axial and sagittal plane T2-weighted sequences usually clerly demonstrate the engorged epidural veins and effacement of CSF spaces 1,2. The distended venous plexus should not be mistaken for mass, disc herniation, or AV fistulization. 

Article information

rID: 85085
System: Spine
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • epidural venous plexus engorgement

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