Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 8, pp 2130–2149 | Cite as

Various congenital anomalies of the inferior vena cava: review of cross-sectional imaging findings and report of a new variant

  • Seung Soo Kim
  • Hyeong Cheol ShinEmail author
  • Jeong Ah Hwang
  • Sung Shick Jou
  • Woong Hee Lee
  • Seo-Youn Choi
  • Chan Ho Park
Pictorial essay


The inferior vena cava (IVC) is an important structure receiving a large amount of venous return and is associated with various congenital disorders. Advances in diagnostic imaging and its increasing accessibility have led to an increase in the incidental detection of IVC anomalies. Congenital anomalies of the IVC are not uncommon and are occasionally critical to treatment planning. However, they are frequently overlooked in abdominal imaging. The IVC is composed of four segments (intrahepatic, suprarenal, renal, and infrarenal), and each segment arises from different embryonic structures in a complex process. Anomalies of the IVC can be classified according to the involved segment. Familiarity with the variety of IVC anomalies seen on imaging is vital for correctly diagnosing and managing patients in daily practice.

Key words

Vena cava, inferior Congenital abnormalities Tomography, x-ray computed 



Inferior vena cava


Computed tomography


Compliance with ethical standards


This work was supported by Soonchunhyang University Research Fund.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. For this type of study, formal consent was not required.

Informed consent

Statements of informed consent were not applicable because the manuscript contains no patient data.


  1. 1.
    Kellman GM, Alpern MB, Sandler M, Craig BM (1988) Computed tomography of vena caval anomalies with embryologic correlation. Radiographics 8(3):533–556CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mayo J, Gray R, St Louis E, et al. (1983) Anomalies of the inferior vena cava. Am J Roentgenol 140(2):339–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Evans J, Earis J, Curtis J (2001) Thrombosed double inferior vena cava mimicking paraaortic lymphadenopathy. Br J Radiol 74(878):192–194CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mano A, Tatsumi T, Sakai H, et al. (2004) A case of deep venous thrombosis with a double inferior vena cava effectively treated by suprarenal filter implantation. Jpn heart J 45(6):1063–1069CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Smith DC, Kohne RE, Taylor FC (1992) Steel coil embolization supplementing filter placement in a patient with a duplicated inferior vena cava. J Vasc Interv Radiol 3(3):577–580CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mathews R, Smith PA, Fishman EK, Marshall FF (1999) Anomalies of the inferior vena cava and renal veins: embryologic and surgical considerations. Urology 53(5):873–880CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kandpal H, Sharma R, Gamangatti S, et al. (2008) Imaging the Inferior vena cava: a road less traveled 1. Radiographics 28(3):669–689CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Smillie RP, Shetty M, Boyer AC, et al. (2015) Imaging evaluation of the inferior vena cava. RadioGraphics 35(2):578–592CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bass JE, Redwine MD, Kramer LA, et al. (2000) Spectrum of congenital anomalies of the inferior vena cava: cross-sectional imaging findings 1: (CME available in print version and on RSNA link). Radiographics 20(3):639–652CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    McClure CF, Butler EG (1925) The development of the vena cava inferior in man. Am J Anatomy 35(3):331–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Panicek DM, O’Moore PV, Castellino RA (1992) Preaortic iliac venous confluence (“Marsupial cava”): a rare anomaly of the inferior vena cava. Urol Radiol 14(1):188–190CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Minniti S, Visentini S, Procacci C (2002) Congenital anomalies of the venae cavae: embryological origin, imaging features and report of three new variants. Eur Radiol 12(8):2040–2055CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schultz CL, Morrison S, Bryan PJ (1984) Azygos continuation of the inferior vena cava: demonstration by NMR imaging. J Comput Assist Tomogr 8(4):774–776CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lee FT Jr, Pozniak M, Helgerson R (1993) US case of the day. Polysplenia syndrome. Radiographics 13(5):1159–1162CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gibo M, Onitsuka H (1998) Retroaortic left renal vein with renal vein hypertension causing hematuria. Clin Imaging 22(6):422–424CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chuang VP, Mena CE, Hoskins PA (1974) Congenital anomalies of the inferior vena cava. Review of embryogenesis and presentation of a simplified classification. Br J Radiol 47(556):206–213CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McClure CFW, Huntington GS (1929) The mammalian vena cava posterior: an ontogenetic interpretation of the atypical forms of vena cava posterior (inferior) found in the adult domestic cat (Felis domestica) and in man. Philadelphia: Wistar Institute of Anatomy and BiologyGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    de Souza Rocha M, Lourenço RB, Chang YS, et al. (2008) Preaortic iliac confluence (Marsupial vena cava): report of 4 cases. J Comput Assist Tomogr 32(5):706–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ruemenapf G, Rupprecht H, Schweiger H (1998) Preaortic iliac confluence: a rare anomaly of the inferior vena cava. J Vasc Surg 27(4):767–771CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Shindo S, Kobayashi M, Kaga S, et al. (1999) Retrocaval ureter and preaortic iliac venous confluence in a patient with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Surg Radiol Anatomy 21(2):147–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jiménez R, Morant F (2011) The importance of venous and renal anomalies for surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Chennai: InTechCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Doyle AJ, Melendez MG, Simons MA (1992) Ipsilateral duplication of the inferior vena cava. J Clin Ultrasound 20(7):481–485CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Meyer D, Andresen R, Friedrich M (1998) Right-sided double inferior vena cava and common iliac vein: imaging with spiral computerized tomography. Aktuelle Radiol 8(3):148–150PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sénécail B, Josseaume T, Bobeuf J, et al. (2004) Right-sided duplication of the inferior vena cava. Morphologie 88(283):183–187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nagashima T, Lee J, Andoh K, et al. (2006) Right double inferior vena cava: report of 5 cases and literature review. J Comput Assist Tomogr 30(4):642–645CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ng W, Ng S (2009) Double inferior vena cava: a report of three cases. Singapore Med J 50(6):211–213Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gong J, Jiang H, Liu T, et al. (2011) Imaging of partial right double vena cava with ureter crossing through its split, confirmed at surgery. Clin Imaging 35(2):148–150CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Babu CR, Lalwani R, Kumar I (2014) Right double inferior vena cava (IVC) with preaortic iliac confluence–case report and review of literature. J Clin Diagn Res: JCDR 8(2):130PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Koc Z, Oguzkurt L (2007) Interruption or congenital stenosis of the inferior vena cava: prevalence, imaging, and clinical findings. Eur J Radiol 62(2):257–266CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Petik B (2015) Inferior vena cava anomalies and variations: imaging and rare clinical findings. Insights Imaging 6(6):631–639CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Applegate KE, Goske MJ, Pierce G, Murphy D (1999) Situs revisited: imaging of the heterotaxy syndrome 1. Radiographics 19(4):837–852CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Dalal J, Kalsey G, Rai H, et al. (2004) Situs inversus totalis. J Punjab Acad Forensic Med Toxicol 1:35–36Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Shogan PJ, Folio L (2011) Situs inversus totalis. Mil Med 176(7):840–843CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologySoonchunhyang University College of MedicineCheonan-si,Republic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySoonchunhyang University College of MedicineBucheonRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations