OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to describe the variable anatomy of mesenteric veins on axial CT images and on volume-rendered CT venograms that use maximum intensity projection and shaded-surface display. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Fifty-seven patients undergoing helical CT of the pancreas were included in the study. The mesenteric venous system was analyzed in 54 patients. Three patients were excluded because the helical CT data were unsatisfactory. RESULTS. On helical CT with maximum intensity projection and shaded-surface display, the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) was seen as a single trunk of variable length in 40 patients. In seven other patients, two mesenteric trunks merged separately with the splenic vein. In the remaining seven patients, the SMV was occluded by tumor. The inferior mesenteric vein drained into the splenic vein in 28 patients (56%), into the SMV in 14 patients (26%), and into the splenomesenteric angle in nine patients (18%). CONCLUSION. Both axial and volume-rendered CT venograms accurately reveal the variable mesenteric venous anatomy. CT venograms may replace conventional angiography in pre-surgical planning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging