What is the role of MRI in the workup of inferior vena cava thrombosis (IVCT)?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Luis G Fernandez, MD, FACS, FASAS, FCCP, FCCM, FICS, KHS, KCOEG; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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MRI allows examination in multiple planes and estimation of the thrombus age. Reconstructive imaging technology can generate images similar to those seen with venography.

Advantages of MRI include the following:

  • Noninvasiveness
  • Lack of any ionizing radiation
  • Ability to help determine the proximal extent of thrombosis

Disadvantages of this imaging modality include the following:

  • Cost
  • Less accessibility
  • Possibility that turbulent flow may be read falsely as a clot

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