You may print off our Caudal Vena Cava Maximum Height Measurement Chart – Click here for printable PDF The power of this approach is that we have provided absolute values over complicated exponential formulas.  We like too say “flat is flat.”  A flat caudal vena cava (CVC) is obvious and measurements of 3-5mm are within margins of error for most of us non-radiologists.

However, the use of FAT CVC is more clinically helpful.  Dogs < 9kg (<20lbs) should not have a maximum height of >1.0cm and dogs >9kg (>20lbs) should not have a maximum height of over 1.5cm using our chart.  The eyeball characterization should always trump absolute height measurements.  Hepatic venous dissension, referred to as the “Tree Trunk Sign” is nearly 100% specific for increased right-sided filling pressures and right-CHF.  Gallbladder wall edema may also be caused by right-sided CHF – see IM Blog.

We measure using calipers as shown in the image using B-mode (M-mode as too much work and time for me being a non-cardiologist).  Many times I personally take a piece of paper, mark the heights, then slide it over to the centimeter scale on my machine if I don’t want to bother with calipers.

Please credit us for the chart below if you use it in your presentations.  Thank you.


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