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Logo of thijTexas Heart Institute JournalSee also Cardiovascular Diseases Journal in PMCSubscribeSubmissionsTHI Journal Website
Tex Heart Inst J. 2010; 37(2): 255.
PMCID: PMC2851411

Right Superior Caval Vein Draining into the Left Atrium

Luis E. Alday, MD, FACC

To the Editor:

I read with great interest the recent case report by Baggett and colleagues.1 In their report, the authors state that theirs is the first patient in whom the diagnosis of isolated right superior vena cava drainage into the left atrium was made exclusively by noninvasive imaging using cardiac magnetic resonance. I just want to call the attention of the authors to an earlier paper that reported the cases of 2 children with the same condition in whom the diagnosis was also made noninvasively, by color Doppler echocardiography.2 The older child's condition was suspected clinically because of cyanosis and normal cardiac findings; since magnetic resonance was not then available, cardiac angiography was performed to confirm the diagnosis before surgical correction. In the other patient, a newborn with cyanosis, the diagnosis was made serendipitously: the color Doppler study was performed while an already-flowing upper-limb intravenous line showed contrast material filling the left atrium from the right superior vena cava.

Luis E. Alday, MD, FACC
Section of Pediatric Cardiology, Sanatorio Allende, Cordoba, Argentina


1. Baggett C, Skeen SJ, Gantt DS, Trotter BR, Birkemeier KL. Isolated right superior vena cava drainage into the left atrium diagnosed noninvasively in the peripartum period. Tex Heart Inst J 2009;36(6):611–4. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Alday LE, Maisuls H, De Rossi R. Right superior caval vein draining into the left atrium–diagnosis by color flow mapping. Cardiol Young 1995;5:345–9.

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