Inferior Vena Cava Syndrome

Inferior vena cava syndrome occurs when the inferior vena cava gets blocked due to various reasons. It is found that this syndrome often occurs during pregnancy because pregnancy can lead to various problems like failure of return of the blood to the heart, reduced cardiac output, sudden rise in venous pressure and lowering of renal function. If during late pregnancy, a person stays in supine position; all these problems can arise and hence can lead to obstruction of inferior vena cava. Though it's to be understood that minor compression of inferior vena cava during pregnancy is a quite a common occurrence, so it's nothing to be taken intense worry about. Proper medical attention can help you in getting rid of this problem.


Inferior vena cava syndrome always comes with an alarm. There are various symptoms that can help you in spotting this rare syndrome. First symptom is peripheral edema which is the edema of the lower extremities. It takes place due to the sudden rise in the blood pressure in the veins. Second symptom is Tachycardia. It takes place when the frequency of heart increases due to reduced preload. Another symptom is Supine Hypotensive syndrome which is characterized by various signs like pallor, dizziness, sweat, nausea et cetera. Various symptoms of inferior vena cava syndrome which occur during pregnancy include sudden drop of blood pressure, muscle twitching, signs of hypoxia and extreme distress, and finally fatal pain on the right hand side of your body.


Inferior vena cava syndrome can be caused because of the various reasons. It generally takes place when the blockage of the veins occurs due to the pathological process, or simply due to the generation of blood clots in the vein. But what exactly are the causes which may lead to these veins getting compressed and hence give birth to this syndrome? First cause can be tumor, with renal cell carcinoma being the most common one which can actually develop inside your veins. Second reason can be deep vein thrombosis which can lead to the obstruction of vein as well. During the third trimester of pregnancy, compression of vein due to thrombosis or tumors can become quite common phenomena. As due to the external pressure, the veins get compressed and obstructed. Patients who have had liver transplantation, vascular catheters and dialysis in the past are exposed to the inferior vena cava syndrome. It can lead to Iatrogenic which can give birth to this syndrome. And lastly, a syndrome called Budd-Chiari has also become one of the reasons that can cause blockage of veins.

As per the reports of U.S.A, the occurrence of inferior vena cava syndrome is found to be around 5 to 10 cases per 100,000 cases per year. It is not an extremely widespread syndrome. Though the occurrence of minor compression has been quite found a lot, since during pregnancy 90% of the women lie in the supine position, and therefore, develop inferior vena cava syndrome. Though not all women go through this syndrome during their pregnancy.