Superior vena caval abnormalities: their occurrence rate, associated cardiac abnormalities and angiographic classification in a paediatric population with congenital heart disease

Clin Radiol. 1986 Mar;37(2):131-8. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(86)80382-8.


Angiography of the superior systemic veins was performed on 510 patients with congenital heart disease. An analysis of these angiograms was carried out and a simple angiographic classification of superior vena caval anomalies is presented. Eleven per cent of cases had complete bilateral superior vena cavae, a frequency of occurrence higher than that previously reported. An analysis of associated congenital heart lesions revealed a higher than average association of bilateral superior vena cavae with atrioventricular septal defects and double-outlet right ventricle, but this was seen rarely in cases of transposition of the great arteries. Bilateral superior vena cavae also occurred very frequently (72%) in patients with situs abnormalities. Femoral vein catheterisation is likely to facilitate diagnosis and appropriate radiological signs are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Vena Cava, Superior / abnormalities*
  • Vena Cava, Superior / diagnostic imaging