Skip to content

Do not mistake aorta for the IVC

Mistaking aorta for the inferior vena cava (IVC) is a common pitfall and can potentially lead to patient mismanagement. Always trace the IVC superiorly and make sure it is joining the right atrium. Also, try to look for the hepatic vein-IVC confluence when possible. Following table and figure summarize other key differences between these two vessels.

In the following sonographic image, the initial vessel is aorta (note anterior branches) and as we fan the probe towards the right, IVC emerges. Hepatic vein joining the IVC can be seen. This image also illustrates how IVC passes ‘through’ the liver while aorta is by the side (= there is some gap between the aorta and the liver).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: