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Concept: Inferior vena cava


Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is the standard treatment of Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS) non responsive to medical therapy. However, patients with inferior vena cava (IVC) obstruction proximal to the atrium do not benefit from TIPS and a surgical approach is mandatory. We report the case of BCS due to intrapericardial IVC obstruction. We describe a novel surgical approach using a fresh caval homograft. An attempt to balloon dilatation of the IVC obstruction was complicated by right atrial disruption with tamponade and ventricular fibrillation. Lately, the patient successfully underwent a reconstruction of the cavo-atrial continuity by the interposition of a fresh caval homograft, a novel surgical approach never described before for BCS. Further follow-up revealed progressive reduction and resolution of ascites, and overall clinical improvement. IVC obstruction near to the atrium can be surgically approached with a new technique consisting in inferior vena cava resection and replacement with a caval homograft.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Heart, Physician, Inferior vena cava, Inferior vena cava syndrome, Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt


Persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) is present in about 0.3%-0.5% of the general population and in about 12% of patients with other abnormalities [1]. This congenital anomaly is usually asymptomatic and does not cause any physiological problems. However, it may become a significant problem in multiple clinical situations. Various complications related to PLVSC are encountered in anaesthesiological, nephrological, oncological and cardiological procedures. The presence of PLSVC is usually incidentally detected during placement of pacemaker (PM), implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) leads. Technical difficulties during lead positioning (especially ventricular leads) are commonly known and often described in the literature. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the specific methods used for implantation of increasingly complicated pacing systems, finding an optimal strategy in patients with PLSVC, especially with electrotherapy complications.

Concepts: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Cardiac electrophysiology, Magnetic resonance imaging, Vein, Inferior vena cava, Superior vena cava, Artificial pacemaker, Transcutaneous pacing


Wilms' tumor (WT) is the most common pediatric renal tumor that often spreads to inferior vena cava and sometimes up to right atrium (RA). We describe successful management of 3-year-old child diagnosed with WT having extension up to RA. He was operated under cardiopulmonary bypass and extubated on postoperative day 2 and discharged. Perioperative anesthesia concerns were shock from dynamic tricuspid valve obstruction, intraoperative massive blood loss, and a higher risk of pulmonary thromboembolism during tumor manipulation.

Concepts: Oncology, Blood, Heart, Vein, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Wilms' tumor, Inferior vena cava


IMPORTANCE Retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters were designed to provide temporary protection from pulmonary embolism, sparing patients from long-term complications of permanent filters. However, many retrievable IVC filters are left in place indefinitely. OBJECTIVES To review the medical records of patients with IVC filters to determine patient demographics and date of and indication for IVC filter placement, as well as complications, follow-up data, date of IVC filter retrieval, and use of anticoagulant therapy. DESIGN AND SETTING A retrospective review of IVC filter use between August 1, 2003, and February 28, 2011, was conducted at Boston Medical Center, a tertiary referral center with the largest trauma center in New England. PARTICIPANTS In total, 978 patients. Twenty six patients were excluded from the study because of incomplete medical records. INTERVENTION Placement of retrievable IVC filter. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES In total, 952 medical records were included in the analysis. RESULTS Of 679 retrievable IVC filters that were placed, 58 (8.5%) were successfully removed. Unsuccessful retrieval attempts were made in 13 patients (18.3% of attempts). Seventy-four venous thrombotic events (7.8% of 952 patients included in the study) occurred after IVC filter placement, including 25 pulmonary emboli, all of which occurred with the IVC filter in place. Forty-eight percent of venous thrombotic events were in patients without venous thromboembolism at the time of IVC filter placement, and 89.4% occurred in patients not receiving anticoagulants. Many IVC filters placed after trauma were inserted when the highest bleeding risk had subsided, and anticoagulant therapy may have been appropriate. While many of these filters were placed because of a perceived contraindication to anticoagulants, 237 patients (24.9%) were discharged on a regimen of anticoagulant therapy. CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE Our research suggests that the use of IVC filters for prophylaxis and treatment of venous thrombotic events, combined with a low retrieval rate and inconsistent use of anticoagulant therapy, results in suboptimal outcomes due to high rates of venous thromboembolism.

Concepts: Stroke, Pulmonary embolism, Warfarin, Low molecular weight heparin, Anticoagulant, Inferior vena cava, Deep vein thrombosis, Inferior vena cava filter


The US Surgeon General estimates that 100,000 to 180,000 deaths occur annually from acute pulmonary embolism (PE) in the United States. The case of Ms A, a 60-year-old woman with acute PE and right ventricular dysfunction (submassive PE), illustrates the clinical challenge of identifying this high-risk patient population and determining when more aggressive immediate therapy should be pursued in addition to standard anticoagulation. The clinical examination, electrocardiogram, cardiac biomarkers, chest computed tomography, and echocardiography can be used to risk stratify patients with acute PE. Current options for more aggressive intervention in the treatment of patients with acute PE who are at increased risk of an adverse clinical course include systemic fibrinolysis, pharmacomechanical catheter-directed therapy, surgical pulmonary embolectomy, and inferior vena cava filter insertion. Determination of the optimal duration of anticoagulation and lifestyle modification to reduce overall cardiovascular risk are critical components of the long-term therapy of patients with acute PE.

Concepts: Heart, Pulmonary embolism, Physician, Vein, Pulmonary artery, Inferior vena cava, Inferior vena cava filter, Embolism


Abstract This article reports the case of a 22-year-old woman with right renal angiomyolipoma (AML) and inferior vena cava thrombus. Laparoscopic right nephrectomy and thrombectomy were performed. To the authors' knowledge there have been only 46 reported cases of renal AML with endovascular extension and this is the first case to be completely removed by a laparoscopic approach. Laparoscopic management of this kind of tumour is feasible in spite of the vascular involvement. The centre’s experience and enlargement of the tumour are key points for this approach.

Concepts: Kidney, Report, Case, Renal vein, Inferior vena cava, Superior vena cava, Angiomyolipoma, Carly Simon


Subjects with persistent left superior vena cava were classified on the basis of the presence and thickness of both superior venae cavae, the anastomotic ramus between the superior venae cavae (anastomotic ramus), and the presence of both azygos veins. Among subjects with persistent left superior vena cava, the percentage of those with weak development of the anastomotic ramus (41.5 %) or absence of an anastomotic ramus (35.8 %) was 77.3 %. In addition, 54.7 % of subjects had a left azygos vein. However, 88.7 % of subjects had a right azygos vein. In this classification, the most frequently observed types included the presence of both superior venae cavae, an anastomotic ramus, and both azygos veins (20.8 %). During student dissection practice sessions performed on 337 cadavers that were carried out from 2002 through 2010, a subject having a left superior vena cava (in 2002) and a subject having both superior venae cavae (in 2003) were detected. The former case was reported previously. The latter case is reported in this paper. The incidence of persistent left superior vena cava was 0.59 % (2/337 cadavers).

Concepts: Vein, Inferior vena cava, Superior vena cava, Veins of the torso, Azygos vein, Persistent left superior vena cava


Cardiac hemangiomas represent 1 to 2% of all detected benign heart tumors. Tumors in the coronary sinus have been reported; however, to our knowledge, there have been no reports of masses in a persistent left superior vena cava. We report here the first case of a 58-year-old man with a rare huge unicamerate cardiac hemangiomas in a persistent left superior vena cava. A communication vein between the coronary sinus and hemangiomas could be identified, and thrombus formation was found in the hemangiomas as well.

Concepts: Heart, Report, Artery, Vein, Inferior vena cava, Superior vena cava, Hemangioma, Sinus venosus


PURPOSE: To evaluate of the medium-term integrity, efficacy, and complication rate associated with the Gunther Tulip vena cava filter. METHODS: A retrospective study was performed of 369 consecutive patients who had infrarenal Gunther Tulip inferior vena cava filters placed over a 5-year period. The mean patient age was 61.8 years, and 59 % were men. Venous thromboembolic disease and a contraindication to or complication of anticoagulation were the indications for filter placement in 86 % of patients; 14 % were placed for prophylaxis in patients with a mean of 2.3 risk factors. Follow-up was obtained by review of medical and radiologic records. RESULTS: Mean clinical follow-up was 780 days. New or recurrent pulmonary embolus occurred in 12 patients (3.3 %). New or recurrent deep-vein thrombosis occurred in 53 patients (14.4 %). There were no symptomatic fractures, migrations, or caval perforations. Imaging follow-up in 287 patients (77.8 %) at a mean of 731 days revealed a single (0.3 %) asymptomatic fracture, migration greater than 2 cm in 36 patients (12.5 %), and no case of embolization. Of 122 patients with CT scans, asymptomatic perforations were identified in 53 patients (43.4 %) at a mean 757 days. CONCLUSION: The Gunther Tulip filter was safe and effective at 2-year follow-up. Complication rates were similar to those reported for permanent inferior vena cava filters.

Concepts: Stroke, Pulmonary embolism, Vein, Low molecular weight heparin, Anticoagulant, Inferior vena cava, Deep vein thrombosis, Inferior vena cava filter


Nutcracker syndrome (NCS), which is caused by compression of the left renal vein between the abdominal aorta and the superior mesenteric artery, leads to a series of clinical symptoms including hematuria, proteinuria, flank pain, and varicocele. The diagnosis of NCS is difficult due to variations in normal anatomy. Treatment, which ranges from observation to nephrectomy, remains controversial. We conducted a review based on the related literature and our experience with hundreds of cases. We summarize the characteristics of NCS, the different measurements used in diagnosis, and the current treatment options. We present our diagnostic criteria and recommend endovascular stenting as the primary option for NCS.

Concepts: Kidney, Greek loanwords, Abdominal aorta, Renal artery, Renal vein, Inferior vena cava, Superior mesenteric artery, Nutcracker syndrome