A 25-year-old male patient, suffering from chest congestion, recurrent coughing and facial edema, was admitted to the hospital. CT examination revealed a non-enhanced right para-mediastinal soft tissue mass in the superior mediastinum, invading the superior vena cava (SVC) and the right atrium. A tumor biopsy revealed a primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma. A three-phase chemotherapy was effectively carried out and the tumor had shrunk. The symptoms, however, persisted. A dynamic 4D spiral CT scanning was requested for further evaluation.
In the CT, the segment of the SVC below the azygos arch was not seen, suggesting an obstruction. The azygos vein, the inferior hemiazygos vein, the right internal thoracic vein and the right posterior intercostal veins (1–6, 9–10) were significantly dilated, presumably draining blood into the inferior vena cava (IVC). The upper segment of the IVC drained into the right atrium. The small residual tumor and a large amount of right-sided pleural effusion were also observed.
Fig. 1: Contrast enhanced axial images prior to chemotherapy (Figs. 1a and 1b), axial (Figs. 1c and 1d) and coronal (Fig. 1e) images after three-phase chemotherapy, show that the right para-mediastinal soft tissue mass in the superior mediastinum has shrunk. The right-sided pleural effusion however has increased.
Fig. 2: Different views of cinematic rendering VRT images, using different presets, show significantly dilated azygos vein, inferior hemiazygos vein, right internal thoracic vein and right posterior intercostal veins (1–6, 9–10). The segment of the superior vena cava (SVC) below the azygos arch is not shown, suggesting an obstruction. The upper segment of IVC drains into the right atrium.
SVC obstruction is mostly caused by malignancies, such as mediastinal lymphomas. Multiple collateral venous pathways develop to bypass the obstruction. The location and severity of the SVC obstruction, superimposed thrombosis, a mediastinal mass or lymphadenopathy, collateral vessels, associated lung masses and pleural effusion can be exquisitely displayed by contrast enhanced CT. In this case, a low dose Dynamic 4D CTA is performed using Adaptive 4D Spiral scanning to acquire images at multiple time points with defined intervals.
facilitates a time-resolved inspection of the thoracic vascular system and makes
wrong bolus timing highly unlikely. Lower kV and mAs settings (80 kV, 60 mAs)
for each time point acquisition are applied to improve contrast-to-noise ratio
(CNR) and to reduce radiation dose. Although only 40 mL of contrast agent are
used, the venous collaterals are clearly demonstrated in the fused temporal maximum
intensity projections (tMIP). The isotropic resolution provided by the Dual
Source CT scanner, SOMATOM Force, achieves optimal image quality, improves diagnostic
confidence and aids in planning the necessary therapy.
Adaptive 4D Spiral
722.7 mGy cm
48 x 1.2 mm
40 mL + 40 mL saline