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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Anomalous systemic venous return: recognition by two-dimensional echocardiography.

The two-dimensional echocardiographic features of anomalies of systemic and coronary venous return are described as they were seen in 23 patients with this diagnosis proven at angiography. A left-sided superior vena cava draining to the right atrium via an enlarged coronary sinus was correctly identified in all 17 patients with this condition by observing a characteristically moving ovoid structure in the region of the posterior atrioventricular groove. This structure opacified before the right side of the heart following bolus injections of contrast material from a left arm vein. Injection from the right arm in 12 patients or femoral vein in four patients of this group produced contrast echoes within the right heart only. A left-sided superior vena cava draining directly to a left atrium in three patients, or left side of a common atrium in two patients with atrial situs inversus, was identified by the immediate opacification of the left-sided chamber following injection from the left arm. Two patients with hemiazygos inferior vena caval return to the left superior vena cava or left atrium were studied using injections of contrast from the femoral vein which successfully identified the venous abnormality. Two-dimensional echocardiography, when combined with peripheral venous injections of contrast will reliably demonstrate anomalies of systemic venous return, and thus provides important information before more invasive procedures.[1]


  1. Anomalous systemic venous return: recognition by two-dimensional echocardiography. Foale, R., Bourdillon, P.D., Somerville, J., Rickards, A. Eur. Heart J. (1983) [Pubmed]
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