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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Double superior vena cava on fistulogram: A case report and discussion

Rare disease, Congenital defects / diseases, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Chad J. Cooper, Anwar Soliman Gerges, Emmanuel Anekwe, German T. Hernandez

USA El Paso, USA

Am J Case Rep 2013; 14:395-397

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.889589

Available online:

Published: 2013-10-02


Background: Superior vena cava anomalies are caused by variations in the development of the embryonic thoracic venous system. Duplication of the superior vena cava is a rare anomaly with an incidence in the general population of 0.3%. The majority of cases are asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally by imaging done for another reason.
Case Report: A fifty year old female patient presented to our care with a history of end stage renal disease that has been recently started on dialysis. Procedures performed included a fistulogram, PermaCath placement and angiogram of internal jugular vein. Angiogram was done and showed that the patient has a good sized cephalic vein which is wide open and mild to moderate stenosis at the subclavian area which proved to be a dual superior vena cava.
Conclusions: Double SVC is a rare congenital anomaly. The literature available on this congenital anomaly is sparse. The majority of cases are diagnosed incidentally on imaging for other reasons, which can alert the physician of other congenital abnormalities that will need further work up. However, these venous anomalies should be recognized, as they can have significant clinical implications, especially during central venous catheter placement, radiofrequency ablation, pacemaker insertion or coronary artery bypass graft.

Keywords: dialysis catheter, Dual Superior Vena Cava, Fistulogram