Effect of positional changes on inferior vena cava size

Farouk Mookadam, Tahlil A. Warsame, Hyun Suk Yang, Usha R. Emani, Christopher P. Appleton, Serageldin F. Raslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


AimTo study the effect of positional change on inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter. The influence of positional change on IVC size is not well studied. Although the American Society of Echocardiography guidelines for chamber quantification recommend imaging the IVC in the left lateral position, many labs routinely image the IVC from the supine position. Methods and results Forty-three patients (age 39.5 ± 9.4) with normal echocardiographic findings were studied. Subcostal imaging was used to assess the IVC in the supine and left lateral positions. IVC dimensions, hepatic vein (HV) Doppler and tricuspid regurgitation (TR) jet velocity were measured. IVC systolic and diastolic dimensions were larger in the supine compared with the left lateral position (17.2 ± 4.1 vs. 10.9 ± 4.4 mm, P < 0.001; 16.2 ± 4.5 vs. 9.9 ± 4.4 mm, P < 0.001, respectively). Position had no influence on HV systolic and diastolic peak velocity. (35.4 ± 23.7 vs. 31.8 ± 35.0 cm/s, P 0.461; 24.2 ± 19.5 vs. 25.4 ± 31.9 cm/s, P 0.775, respectively). Conclusion sThe IVC dimension is larger in the supine position independent of the cardiac cycle. This may be due to increased intra-abdominal pressure and compression of the IVC by the liver in the left lateral position. HV systolic and diastolic peak Doppler velocities were not influenced by position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-325
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Echocardiography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Hepatic vein
  • Inferior vena cava
  • Positional change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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