Chronic superior vena cava obstruction

Case contributed by Dr Maxim Stalkov


Prominent superficial chest wall veins.

Patient Data

Age: 20 years
Gender: Female

Superior vena cava is not identifiable on this scan, instead a rich collateral network of smaller veins is demonstrated. The majority of blood flow is seen to be diverted into the azygos-hemiazygos-accessory hemiazygos system (these veins are densely opacified), left renal vein (which is also significantly dilated and measures around 25mm) and finally into inferior vena cava. Chest wall, mediastinal, diaphragmatic and vertebral venous plexuses are also opacified as a sign of SVC obstruction.

Case Discussion

Repeated central venous catheter placements took place in the patient's infancy. Thus a benign iatrogenic cause of SVC obstruction was proposed in this case.

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Case information

rID: 37573
Published: 23rd Jul 2015
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Vascular, Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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