Renal vein measurement using ultrasonography in patients with cirrhotic ascites and congestive heart failure

Masahiro Kaneko, Naoki Matsumoto, Mariko Kumagawa, Yukinobu Watanabe, Midori Hirayama, Hiroshi Nakagawara, Toshiki Yamamoto, Masahiro Ogawa, Mitsuhiko Moriyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Ascites can cause compression of the inferior vena cava (IVC), leading to increased renal venous pressure and renal congestion. Previously, the left renal vein diameter in liver cirrhosis patients with ascites was measured using computed tomography, showing that enlargement of the left renal vein diameter affects the prognosis. Herein, the diameter and flow velocity of the renal veins were measured using ultrasonography. Methods: Abdominal ultrasonography was performed on 186 patients. The patients were divided into four groups: normal liver (n = 102), liver cirrhosis (LC) without ascites (n = 37), LC with ascites (n = 30), and congestive liver (n = 17). Ultrasonographic measurements for diameter and flow velocity of the IVC, left renal vein main trunk, and segmental renal vein were performed. Results: The left renal vein diameter increased in the following order: normal liver, LC, LC with ascites, and congestive liver groups (P < 0.001). IVC flow velocity was lower and left renal vein diameter was larger in the congestive liver and LC with ascites groups. These results suggest that the two groups have different pathological conditions, but the mechanism of renal congestion is similar. In patients with LC, IVC compression due to ascites might cause blood stagnation and renal congestion. Conclusion: The left renal vein and IVC can be measured using ultrasonography. It might help in furthering our understanding of the pathophysiology of renal congestion in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Ultrasonics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Ascites
  • Cirrhosis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Renal congestion
  • Ultrasonography


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