You See What You Know … Gas Bubbles in the Inferior Vena Cava, an Unusual Presentation of Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection

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Gas detected within the systemic circulation as an unexpected finding is a very rare phenomenon. A case of multiple bubbles within the inferior vena cava detected incidentally during a sonogram requested to assess for portal vein thrombosis is presented. These were eventually determined to be sequelae of a fatal, clinically silent necrotizing soft tissue infection. The differential diagnosis for gas within the inferior vena cava is reviewed, and teaching points that may help future patients are presented.

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