What is the role of MRI in the diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2018
  • Author: Todd A Nickloes, DO, FACOS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has not yet been sufficiently investigated in this setting, but it appears promising. It has several potential advantages over CT, in that it provides images in several planes of view, allows direct visualization of blood flow, and does not require iodinated contrast material (an especially important characteristic when stenting is anticipated). [15]

MRI is an acceptable alternative for patients with renal failure or those with contrast allergies. Potential disadvantages include increased scanning time with attendant problems in patient compliance and increased cost.


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