Neuroimaging findings in neonates and infants from superior vena cava obstruction after cardiac operation

Boaz Karmazyn*, Ovdi Dagan, Bernado A. Vidne, Gadi Horev, Liora Kornreich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Extraventricular obstructive hydrocephalus may develop after superior vena cava obstruction, an uncommon complication after cardiac surgery. Objective: To describe the neuroimaging findings in neonates and infants with superior vena cava thrombosis after cardiac surgery for congenital heart disease. Materials and methods: Between 1993 and 2001, 333 neonates and infants in our hospital underwent cardiac surgery, of whom 13 (3.9%) subsequently acquired superior vena cava syndrome. Eleven of these 13 children (7 boys, 4 girls) were evaluated by head ultrasound and computed tomography scans. Results: One child had normal findings on head ultrasound, and 10 children had extraventricular obstructive hydrocephalus (EVOH). In 6 children, aggravation of the hydrocephalus was noted up to 11.4 months after cardiac surgery; in 3 of them, the hydrocephalus was shunted to the peritoneum. One child had thrombosis of the dural sinuses, and 1 had hemorrhagic infarction. Two children died during follow-up. Conclusion: EVOH is a common complication of superior vena cava thrombosis, and head ultrasound should be performed in all neonates and infants with superior vena cava thrombosis after cardiac surgery. Long-term follow-up is needed, as the hydrocephalus may worsen even months after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-810
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2002


  • Congenital heart disease
  • Extraventricular obstructive hydrocephalus
  • Infants
  • Neonates
  • Superior vena cava obstruction
  • Thrombosis
  • Venous

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