Left superior vena cava

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[edit] Discussion

  • Incidental finding in less than 0.5% of the general population but occurs in approximately 4% of patients with congenital heart disease.
  • In most cases, the left SVC is a component of a duplicated SVC. The left brachiocephalic vein is absent, and the right SVC is smaller than the left in 65% of SVC duplications.
  • Isolated left SVC is less common.
  • The left SVC descends lateral to the aortic arch and drains into the coronary sinus.
  • Most often an incidental finding that is not clinically significant, but patients with a left SVC draining into a coronary sinus that has a narrowed ostium have presented difficulties in introducing IV lines and pacemaker or defibrillator leads.

[edit] Imaging Findings

[edit] Plain films

  • Most often revealed by radiography when traversed by an IV catheter
  • Occasionally detectable, usually in retrospect, as a focal widening of the mediastinum superior to the left side of the aortic knob.

[edit] Images

Patient #1

Patient #2: PICC from left superior vena cava to coronary sinus to right atrium to inferior vena cava to left hepatic vein

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References