open access

Vol 66, No 4 (2007)
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2007-08-13
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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A case of multiple abnormalities of the azygos venous system: a praeaortic interazygos vein

J. Pyrzowski, J.H. Spodnik, A. Lewicka, A. Popławska, S. Wójcik
Folia Morphol 2007;66(4):353-355.

open access

Vol 66, No 4 (2007)
CASE REPORTS
Published online: 2007-08-13
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The posterior thoracic wall, an area drained by the azygos venous system, is a common site for surgical intervention. Since the venous part of the cardiovascular system is subject to most common variation, abnormalities in the azygos venous system are often reported. Some of the anatomical variants have significant clinical implications for computed tomography image assessment and mediastinal surgery.
During dissection of the posterior mediastinum in a 76 year-old Caucasian male cadaver we found a rare variation in the azygos venous system. The hemiazygos vein drained the left 9th to 11th left posterior intercostal veins. While passing ventrally to the aorta at the level of the body of the eighth thoracic vertebra it was joined by two separate vessels found to be the continuations of the 7th and 8th left posterior intercostal veins. The resultant dilated vessel, termed the "interazygos vein", then opened into the azygos vein on the right side of the vertebral column. Variation in the azygos venous system has often been reported, but the abnormality observed by us appears to be extremely rare. The interazygos vein passing ventrally to the aorta may mimic enlarged lymph nodes and cause misinterpretation of a computed tomography image or, if accidentally damaged during mediastinal surgery, may lead to intraoperative haemorrhage. To the best of our knowledge this report provides new data of potential clinical significance.

Abstract

The posterior thoracic wall, an area drained by the azygos venous system, is a common site for surgical intervention. Since the venous part of the cardiovascular system is subject to most common variation, abnormalities in the azygos venous system are often reported. Some of the anatomical variants have significant clinical implications for computed tomography image assessment and mediastinal surgery.
During dissection of the posterior mediastinum in a 76 year-old Caucasian male cadaver we found a rare variation in the azygos venous system. The hemiazygos vein drained the left 9th to 11th left posterior intercostal veins. While passing ventrally to the aorta at the level of the body of the eighth thoracic vertebra it was joined by two separate vessels found to be the continuations of the 7th and 8th left posterior intercostal veins. The resultant dilated vessel, termed the "interazygos vein", then opened into the azygos vein on the right side of the vertebral column. Variation in the azygos venous system has often been reported, but the abnormality observed by us appears to be extremely rare. The interazygos vein passing ventrally to the aorta may mimic enlarged lymph nodes and cause misinterpretation of a computed tomography image or, if accidentally damaged during mediastinal surgery, may lead to intraoperative haemorrhage. To the best of our knowledge this report provides new data of potential clinical significance.
Get Citation

Keywords

azygos vein; interazygos vein; hemiazygos vein; para-aortic mass; anatomical variation

About this article
Title

A case of multiple abnormalities of the azygos venous system: a praeaortic interazygos vein

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 66, No 4 (2007)

Pages

353-355

Published online

2007-08-13

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2007;66(4):353-355.

Keywords

azygos vein
interazygos vein
hemiazygos vein
para-aortic mass
anatomical variation

Authors

J. Pyrzowski
J.H. Spodnik
A. Lewicka
A. Popławska
S. Wójcik

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