IVC anomalies and right renal aplasia detected on CT: a possible link?

Abdom Imaging. 2003 May-Jun;28(3):395-9. doi: 10.1007/s00261-002-0090-7.


Background: We report the occurrence of congenital anomalies of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and right renal aplasia in three patients as detected on computed tomography (CT).

Methods: The medical records and imaging studies of three patients with congenital anomalies of the IVC and right renal aplasia were studied. We also reviewed eight reported cases with such an association.

Results: Eleven patients, nine adults and two girls, were included in the series. Indications for imaging included deep vein thrombosis (n = 5), hypertension (n = 2), failure to advance a femoral vein catheter cranially (n = 1), dilated veins along the abdominal wall (n = 1), endstage renal failure (n = 1), and jaundice (n = 1). CT was performed in seven patients, and venography, aortography, and other imaging modalities were performed in four. IVC anomalies included partial or complete absence of the IVC in nine patients and a double vena cava in two. The azygos vein was very prominent in all patients in whom the IVC was absent. The right kidney was absent or very small in all patients.

Conclusion: The association between IVC anomalies and absence of the right kidney as detected on CT probably was not incidental. Although most patients had symptoms deriving from the anomalies, these might have been clinically silent. The radiologist should be aware of the possible association between these anomalies, which can be detected on CT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / abnormalities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / abnormalities*