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Prevalence of Duplication and Transposition of Inferior Vena Cava

  • 08
    By Katherine Kozlowski, Medical author and contributor to Vein News and Veinsveinsveins.com

    The inferior vena cava is the largest vein in the body, and it returns blood from the lower extremities back to the right atrium of the heart.

    Duplication is when there are two rather than one inferior vena cava. Transposition of the inferior vena cava is when the vessel is located on the left side of the body when ascending the abdomen rather than the right side. According to the majority of evidence in the field of vascular research, these two anomalies are the most common among those in the inferior vena caval system.
    Researchers in Romania performed a meta-analysis to try and determine the actual prevalence of these conditions, because the rarity of them makes it difficult to study.
    48 studies were included, and the results are as follows:
    • Overall prevalence of duplication: 0.7%
    • Overall prevalence of transposition: 0.3%
    Although the conditions are rare, it is important for physicians and healthcare practitioners to be aware of them considering possible clinical consequences, surgical technique and approach, and differential diagnoses on imaging studies.
    Hostiuc S, Minoiu C, Negoi I et al. Duplication and transposition of inferior vena cava: A meta-analysis of prevalence. J Vasc S: Venous Lymphat Disord 2019;7(5): 742-755