Catheter-directed venography for evaluating internal jugular vein pseudo-occlusion

Ryan W. England, Anirudh Arun, Peter S. Vosler, Sheng Fu L. Lo, Sachin K. Gujar, Nauman Tariq, Clifford R. Weiss, Mark G. Luciano, Ferdinand K. Hui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incidence and effects of stenosis of the cerebral venous system are poorly understood. When noninvasive computed tomography venography (CTV) of the head and neck suggests complete internal jugular vein (IJV) occlusion, invasive catheter-directed venography can discordantly show venous patency. We compared CTV vs digital subtraction venography (DSV) in the evaluation of patency/occlusion in the suspected IJV and contralateral IJV. We queried the venous intervention database of our U.S. academic tertiary-care hospital to identify patients with complete or near-complete IJV occlusion per CTV from March 1, 2019 to March 1, 2020. We included patients with both noninvasive and invasive imaging of the target segment and the contralateral IJV. Four patients had suspected occlusion of the IJV at the skull base. Invasive catheter-directed venography consisted of DSV to assess direction of flow and vessel caliber, as well as manometry proximal and distal to areas of suspected stenosis. DSV showed patency in all 4 IJVs for which CTV had shown suspected occlusions. CTV findings of the contralateral IJVs were patency (n = 2), moderate stenosis (n = 1), and severe/critical stenosis (n = 1). Contralateral IJV caliber, measured by DSV, was concordant with CTV findings. Median mean-pressure gradients across the apparent occlusion and contralateral segments were 1 (range, 1–4) mmHg and 0 (range, 0–5) mmHg, respectively. Although noninvasive CTV may suggest absence of or attenuated flow within the IJV, this technique may be insufficient to establish complete occlusion. Catheter-directed venography can be used to evaluate patency, vessel caliber, and mean-pressure gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Cerebral venous congestion
  • Cerebral venous system
  • Computed tomography venography
  • Digital subtraction venography
  • Internal jugular vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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