Determination of inferior vena cava diameter in the angiography suite: Comparison of three common methods

Daniel B. Brown, Mark R. Labuski, John F. Cardella, Harjit Singh, Peter N. Waybill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Significant inferior vena cava (IVC) filter migration has been associated with deployment of some filter types in IVCs measuring more than 28 mm in diameter at inferior vena cavography. The purposes of this study were to (a) determine if significant differences exist between IVC measurements obtained using a gold standard technique and two other widely accepted methods, and (b) if differences exist, how often do these differences cause incorrect IVC sizing around a diameter of 28 mm, with its associated filter migration issues. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred thirteen consecutive inferior vena cavograms were retrospectively reviewed. The transverse diameter of the infrarenal IVC was determined by using a calibrated intravascular catheter (the gold standard), subtraction of 20% from the measured transverse IVC diameter on a cut-film radiograph, and a radiopaque ruler placed immediately posterior to the patient. RESULTS: The concordance correlation of the 20% magnification method versus internal calibration was 0.94. Kappa analysis to determine agreement at a diameter of 28 mm yielded a Kappa coefficient of 0.490. The concordance correlation of an external ruler versus internal calibration was 0.43, with a Kappa coefficient of 0. CONCLUSION: The poor Kappa correlations for both methods demonstrate that they are unreliable in identifying megacava. Inferior vena cavography prior to IVC filter placement should be performed with a calibrated intravascular catheter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Venae cavae, angiography
  • Venae cavae, filters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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