Vol. 29, Nº 1

Duplication of the inferior vena cava: case report and a literature review of anatomical variation

Karen Ruggeri Saad; Paulo Fernandes Saad; Caroline Alencar Amorim; Dinani Armstrong; Bruno Leonardo de Freitas Soares ; Paulo César Fagundes Neves; Álvaro Razuk Filho

KEYWORDS: inferior vena cava, pulmonary embolism, anatomical variation, vena cava duplication, phlebography.


Anatomical variation in the inferior vena cava can result in misdiagnosis, making a better understanding of such variations crucial. Here we report the case of a 29 year-old male, victim of multiple trauma, who in the course of treatment presented with a pulmonary thromboembolism confirmed by tomography. Given the gravity of the situation and the need for additional surgeries, a decision was made to implant an inferior vena cava filter. During phlebography, prior to implantation of the filter, the duplication of the vena cava was detected and classified as a complete duplication. A review of the literature revealed various anatomical descriptions of duplicated inferior vena cava, the most common of which were incomplete cases showing greater variation in venous contion. All in vivo anatomical descriptions were done via phlebography, demonstrating the value of this test for the diagnosis of anatomical variation in the abdominal veins. While duplication of the inferior vena cava was not the cause of the venous thrombosis in our patient, a detailed phlebography test was needed to both identify the anatomical variation and facilitate the placement of the filter to prevent a new pulmonary thromboembolism.