Persistent left SVC

John Hildebrandt, Thomas Hartman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Imaging description A persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) is present in 0.3% of a healthy population and approximately 4.4% of patients with congenital heart disease [1]. A left brachiocephalic vein is either very small or absent in 65% of patients with PLSVC [2]. In approximately 10% of cases with a PLSVC, the right SVC will be absent. The CT imaging of a PLSVC is the same in all cases [2, 3], but the presence of the left brachiocephalic vein and right SVC will be variable. A PLSVC is seen as a tubular structure running along the left side of the mediastinum from the region of the origin of the left brachiocephalic vein inferiorly. In approximately 90% of cases, the PLSVC will drain into the coronary sinus (Figures 58.1–58.3). In the other 10%, the PLSVC will drain into the left atrium (Figure 58.4). Absence of the left brachiocephalic vein results in the left upper body veins draining by way of the PLSVC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPearls and Pitfalls in Thoracic Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationVariants and Other Difficult Diagnoses
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780511977701
ISBN (Print)9780521119078
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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