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Cardiovasc Ultrasound. 2008 Oct 10;6:50. doi: 10.1186/1476-7120-6-50.

Persistent left superior vena cava: a case report and review of literature.

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Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


Persistent left superior vena cava is rare but important congenital vascular anomaly. It results when the left superior cardinal vein caudal to the innominate vein fails to regress. It is most commonly observed in isolation but can be associated with other cardiovascular abnormalities including atrial septal defect, bicuspid aortic valve, coarctation of aorta, coronary sinus ostial atresia, and cor triatriatum. The presence of PLSVC can render access to the right side of heart challenging via the left subclavian approach, which is a common site of access utilized when placing pacemakers and Swan-Ganz catheters. Incidental notation of a dilated coronary sinus on echocardiography should raise the suspicion of PLSVC. The diagnosis should be confirmed by saline contrast echocardiography.

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