Azygos continuation of the inferior vena cava

Case contributed by Dr Mostafa El-Feky


Incidental finding.

Patient Data

Age: 55
Gender: Female

CT chest and abdomen

The inferior vena cava continues as the azygos vein, coursing along the right paravertebral region at the posterior mediastinum till joining superior vena cava (SVC) at the normal location in the right paratracheal space.

The hepatic segment of the IVC is absent and the hepatic veins join and drain directly into the right atrium.

There is associated retro-aortic left renal vein.

Annotated image

Azygos continuation of IVC with retro-arotic left renal vein

Case Discussion

This case represents azygos continuation of the IVC. In most patients, this occurs as an isolated abnormality.  In this case, there is associated retro-aortic left renal vein. Interruption of the inferior vena cava (IVC) with azygous continuation occurs when there is failure of formation of the right subcardinal-hepatic anastomosis resulting in atrophy of the subcardinal vein. This results in congenital absence of the hepatic/suprarenal segment of the IVC. The infrarenal IVC continues superiorly as a dilated azygous vein.

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Case information

rID: 57019
Published: 6th Dec 2017
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Vascular, Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: Dar El Ashaa Center

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