Dilated Superior Ophthalmic Vein: Clinical and Radiographic Features of 113 Cases

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Abstract

Purpose:

Dilated superior ophthalmic vein (SOV) is an uncommon radiographic finding. The authors review the presentation, etiology, radiography, and visual implications of 113 patients with dilated SOV.

Methods:

An observational case series and multicenter retrospective chart review were conducted. There were 113 patients with a dilated SOV. Outcome measures included patient demographics, clinical features, radiographic findings, diagnosis, and treatment, and treatment outcomes were assessed.

Results:

Cases included 75 women (66%) and 38 men (34%) with a mean age of 49 ± 24 years (range, 0.4–90 years). Diagnoses fell under 6 categories: vascular malformation (n = 92, 81%), venous thrombosis (n = 11, 10%), inflammatory (n = 6, 5%), traumatic hemorrhage (n = 2, 2%), lymphoproliferative (n = 1, 1%), and infectious (n = 1, 1%). Imaging modalities utilized included MRI (n = 98, 87%), digital subtraction angiography (n = 77, 68%), CT (n = 29, 26%), and ultrasonography (n = 4, 4%). Disease status at last follow up included no evidence of disease (n = 57, 50%), alive with persistent disease (n = 53, 47%), and expired from disease (n = 3, 3%). Treatment and management was tailored to the underlying disease process with a mean follow up of 18 months (range, 1 day to 180 months). Visual impairment observed at presentation and last follow up across all cases was 26% and 22%, respectively.

Conclusion:

Dilated SOV is a rare radiographic finding resulting from a wide spectrum of etiologies with clinical implications ranging from benign to sight- and life-threatening. Dilated SOV is most often found with dural-cavernous fistula or carotid-cavernous fistula, orbital or facial arteriovenous malformation, and venous thrombosis. Recognition of this finding and management of the underlying condition is critical.

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