Detection of Inferior Vena Cava Abnormalities by Computed Tomography

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The diagnostically useful computed tomography (CT) findings in five new cases of inferior vena cava thrombosis are reported. These findings include: (a) inhomogeneous density of the inferior vena cava, usually best demonstrated after contrast medium injection; (b) caval density less than aortic density; (c) rim enhancement which may be seen with both caval thrombosis and tumor invasion; and (d) enlargement of the vena cava if accompanied by at least one or more of the above findings. A bolus injection of contrast medium followed immediately by CT helps to make some of the above described findings more prominent. In selected patients, this injection should be made into the femoral vein.

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