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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Answer

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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