Abdominal #1 – Long case

A 47-year-old female presented to the Emergency Room with bilateral upper extremity paresthesia, redness and edema. Her symptoms were not position-dependent. The patient was otherwise healthy, and did not take any medication. There is no pertinent surgical history.

An MR angiogram was ordered. The following images were obtained during bolus tracking:

Click here to see the images
Coronal MRV

MRA

T1-weighted images with fat saturation, following contrast administration


Click here to see the diagnosis

Diagnosis:

Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome from right apical lung mass

Discussion:

In this patient with bilateral neurological deficits and edema, the suspicion of SVC syndrome must be addressed. This can be done using either an MRI or a CT protocol. In this case, the MRI scout bolus images (Image 1 & 2) revealed a pathognomonic sign for SVC occlusion:

Please note the marked collateral circulation following contrast administration to the right upper extremity with dilation of multiple intercostal and lateral thoracic veins. These collateral vessels then pool into the liver’s quadrate (segment 4 of the liver), giving the characteristic “hot spot sign”. This name originates from terminology in nuclear medicine, where it was occasionally seen in the case of SVC syndrome. Nowadays, it is more likely to be noticed on a CT or MR. This image also reveals the complete occlusion of the SVC.

Following fat-saturated T1-weighted axial image acquisition with contrast, the cause of the obstruction is evident. There is an infiltrative right apical mass which obstructs the SVC, as well as bilateral pleural effusions. Additionally, there is tumor thrombus noted in the left innominate vein, likely secondary to stasis.

Please review the following video and identify all these pertinent findings:

3 thoughts on “Abdominal #1 – Long case

  1. Great for teaching. I would like to see some follow up on this patients journey. Did she go for intervention such as stents?

    Like

  2. Great case!
    Could you please repost the link to the video (it doesn’t show up on my screen)
    Thank you in advance!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.