Inferior vena caval contrast reflux

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 30 May 2022

Reflux of contrast into inferior vena cava can be common findings seen on CT. It is considered a specific but insensitive sign of right-sided heart disease / right heart dysfunction at low contrast injection rates although the usefulness decreases with high injection rates.

Conditions associated with the phenomenon include: 

Radiologist checklist

Things to look for and evaluate when interpreting this finding includes:

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: with cardiac tamponade
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  • Case 2: cardiac arrest
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