Review Article

Imaging of inferior vena cava normal variants, anomalies and pathologies, Part 1: Congenital

Ranjit K. Chaudhary, Pankaj Nepal, Shruti Kumar, Elina Gupta, Nikita Sangroula, Arpit Nagar, Vijayanadh Ojili
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 27, No 1 | a2687 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v27i1.2687 | © 2023 Ranjit K. Chaudhary, Pankaj Nepal, Shruti Kumar, Elina Gupta, Nikita Sangroula, Arpit Nagar, Vijayanadh Ojili | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 April 2023 | Published: 24 November 2023

About the author(s)

Ranjit K. Chaudhary, Department of Radiology, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, United States
Pankaj Nepal, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, United States
Shruti Kumar, Department of Radiology, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, United States
Elina Gupta, Department of Radiology, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, United States
Nikita Sangroula, Department of Radiology, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, United States
Arpit Nagar, Department of Radiology, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Ohio, United States
Vijayanadh Ojili, Department of Radiology, University of Texas Health, San Antonio, United States

Abstract

The embryology of the inferior vena cava (IVC) is complex, involving the sequential appearance and regression of multiple segments that ultimately form the IVC. Any alteration in this process during embryogenesis can result in congenital anomalies of the IVC. This study aimed to recognise common as well as rare anomalies of the IVC and associated veins, and their clinical implications. The anomalies tend to have diverse appearances based on the timing and segments involved. The development of the IVC is intertwined with the development of other veins like the renal vein, azygos vein and portal vein, and these veins may also be anomalous. Additionally, IVC anomalies are associated with various other congenital anomalies including cardiac anomalies, the recognition of which may be important for patient care. The IVC tends to have multiple normal variants and anomalies because of a complex process involving multiple segments contributing to the adult IVC. Knowledge of these variants is crucial for preoperative planning of procedures.

Contribution: This study would help in understanding the embryogenesis of the IVC and correlation with the imaging appearances and the clinical implications of each of these common as well as rare types of congenital anomalies.


Keywords

IVC; vena cava; IVC anomalies; Azygos continuation; Abernathy malformation; IVC web; IVC embryology.

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