Computed Tomography of Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection in Adults


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Abstract

ObjectivesTo systematically describe the imaging features and clinical correlates of a partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection diagnosed on computed tomography (CT) in adults.MethodsTwenty-nine adults with a partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection on CT were retrospectively identified. There were 19 women and 10 men, with a mean age of 53 (range: 19–83) years. Four cases were identified by review of 1825 consecutive chest CT reports from July 2000–July 2001, and 25 cases were culled from chest radiology teaching files at 3 institutions. Inclusion criteria were availability of CT images and medical charts. Chest radiographs (25 of 29 cases) were reviewed for mediastinal contour abnormalities, heart size, and pulmonary vascular pattern. Chest CT scans were reviewed for location, size, and drainage site of the anomalous vein; presence or absence of a pulmonary vein in the normal location; cardiac size and configuration; and pulmonary vasculature. Charts were reviewed for evidence of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, history of congenital heart disease, and results of other cardiac imaging.ResultsThe prevalence of a partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection was 0.2% (4 of 1825 chest CT reports). Seventy-nine percent (23 of 29 patients) had an anomalous left upper lobe vein connecting to a persistent left vertical vein, only 5% (1 of 23 patients) of whom had a left upper lobe vein in the normal location. Seventeen percent (5 of 29 patients) had an anomalous right upper lobe vein draining into the superior vena cava, 60% (3 of 5 patients) of whom also had a right upper lobe pulmonary vein in the normal location. One patient (3%) had an anomalous right lower lobe vein draining into the suprahepatic inferior vena cava. Chest radiographic findings were abnormal left mediastinal contour in 64% (15 of 25 patients), abnormal right mediastinal contour in 8% (2 of 25 patients), and cardiomegaly in 24% (6 of 25 patients). Computed tomography findings were cardiomegaly in 48% (14 of 29 patients), right atrial enlargement in 31% (9 of 29 patients), right ventricular enlargement in 31% (9 of 29 patients), and pulmonary artery enlargement in 14% (4 of 29 patients). Pulmonary or cardiovascular symptoms were present in 69% (20 of 29 patients), 55% (11 of 20 patients) of whom had specific alternative diagnoses (excluding congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension) to explain the symptoms. Only 1 patient (3%) was diagnosed with a secundum atrial septal defect.ConclusionsA partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection was seen in 0.2% of adults on CT. In contrast to previous series focusing on children, the anomalous vein in adults was most commonly from the left upper lobe, in women, and infrequently associated with atrial septal defects.

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