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Vena Cava 3D Contrast-Enhanced MR Venography: A Pictorial Review

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Three-dimensional contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance venography (CE MRV) is a sensitive and accurate method for diagnosing vena cava pathologies. The commonly used indirect approach involves a nondiluted gadolinium contrast agent injected into an upper limb vein or, occasionally, a pedal vein for assessment of the superior or inferior vena cava. In our studies, a coronal 3D fast multi-planar spoiled gradient-echo acquisition was used. A pre-contrast scan was obtained to ensure correct coverage of the region of interest. We initiated contrast-enhanced acquisition 15 sec after the start of contrast agent injection and performed the procedure twice. The image sets were obtained during two 20–30-sec breath hold, with a breathing rest of 5–6 sec, to obtain the first-pass and delayed arteriovenous phases. For patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome, a third acquisition coinciding with late venous phase was collected to visualize the hepatic veins, which was carried out by one additional acquisition after a 5–6-sec breathing time. This review describes the clinical application of 3D CE MRV in vena cava congenital anomalies, superior and inferior vena cava syndrome, Budd-Chiari syndrome, peripheral vein thrombosis extending to the vena cava, pre-operational evaluation in portosystemic shunting and post-surgical follow-up, and road-mapping for the placement and evaluation of complications of central venous devices.

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Correspondence to Yi-Xiang J. Wang.

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Lin, J., Zhou, KR., Chen, ZW. et al. Vena Cava 3D Contrast-Enhanced MR Venography: A Pictorial Review. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 28, 795–805 (2005).

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