Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava: An Intensivist's Experience and Review of the Literature

Rajit Pahwa, MD, Anand Kumar, MD

Disclosures

South Med J. 2003;96(5) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Persistent left superior vena cava is a relatively rare vascular anomaly. It is, however, the most common variation in the thoracic venous system. The anomaly is typically detected on chest x-ray after the placement of a pulmonary artery catheter or pacemaker leads. This report describes a case of persistent left superior vena cava detected after successful placement of a pulmonary artery catheter.

Persistence of the left superior vena cava (LSVC) is a relatively infrequent congenital variation. Since it is the most common congenital variation in the thoracic venous system, however, the practicing intensivist should be aware of its occurrence. It is normally asymptomatic, and is often detected during or after placement of a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter or pacemaker leads through the left internal jugular or subclavian venous routes. The prevalence is estimated to be approximately 0.3% in individuals with a normal heart and 4.5% in individuals with congenital heart disease.[1] We describe a case of LSVC in our intensive care unit (ICU).

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE

processing....