Bilateral inferior vena cava with azygos continuation but without congenital heart disease complicates routine venous cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass in an adult

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1997 Feb;45(1):40-2. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1013683.


Attempted venous cannulation with a dual-stage cannula for cardiopulmonary bypass in routine coronary revascularization led to the discovery of an abnormal inferior vena cava in a 65-year-old patient. The operative and postoperative course of the patient were not affected by the inferior caval anomaly. The detailed infradiaphragmatic venous anatomy was elucidated later by MRI and showed bilateral inferior caval veins with azygos continuation. Although this malformation of the inferior cava is rare in adults, the occurrence should be known. Quick recognition and handling should be achieved if detected during cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Azygos Vein / abnormalities*
  • Azygos Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / methods*
  • Coronary Disease / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / abnormalities*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / diagnostic imaging