Purpose: Persistent left superior vena cava (PLSVC) is a rare congenital vascular abnormality found in 0.3% of the general population. We report herein a rare complication involving the accidental insertion of a large bore cannula into the PLSVC during liver transplantation (LT). Clinical features: A 63-yr-old man with primary sclerosing cholangitis presented for LT. Given the existence of a tunnelled dialysis catheter in the right internal jugular vein (IJV) and a triple lumen catheter via the left IJV, insertion of an 18 French cannula for venovenous bypass (VVB) was performed via the left IJV using the existing triple lumen cannula as a conduit for a guidewire. Upon initiation of VVB, profound systemic hypotension occurred, and liver transplantation was completed without the further use of VVB. A chest x-ray confirmed a malposition of the VVB cannula with a large left hemothorax. A mini-sternotomy was performed for removal of the VVB cannula, which was found to be inserted in the PLSVC. Retrospectively, the presence of PLSVC was not anticipated due to a normal superior vena cava and a left innominate vein, as revealed by the course of a pre-existing left internal jugular vein triple lumen catheter on a preoperative chest x-ray, and due to a normal-sized coronary sinus on preoperative echocardiography. Conclusion: Malpositioning of a venous cannula in a PLSVC should be anticipated as one of the potential complications of vascular access via the left internal jugular vein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine