Rofo 2021; 193(05): 521-526
DOI: 10.1055/a-1275-0984

The Ductus Venosus

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Markus Born
Department of Radiology, Division of Pediatric Radiology, University Hospital Bonn, Germany
› Author Affiliations


Background the ductus venosus (DV) is not well known in general radiology, but it plays a role in the daily work of pediatric radiologists. Consequently all general radiologists who also care for a pediatric department should be familiar with the physiological and pathological findings related to the DV. Methods: Literature research in Medline, using the keywords “ductus venosus” and “umbilical vein catheter”.

Results and conclusions In the first weeks of life the DV is regularly still patent. It should be recognized as DV and not be mistaken for a pathological portosystemic shunt.The ductus venosus is the lead structure for umbilical vein catheters. Radiologists should be able to assess the correct catheter position. Radiologically important findings of an umbilical vein catheter are mainly malposition and intrahepatic extravasation. Agenesis of the DV can lead to intra- or extrahepatic compensatory portosystemic shunts, in which as well as in the case of persistent patency of the DV, there may be the necessity for radiological-interventional or surgical occlusion.

Key points:

  • In the first weeks of life in infants the Ductus venosus is regularly still patent.

  • The Ductus venosus should not be mistaken for a pathological portosystemic shunt.

  • An umbilcal vein catheter should project onto the Ductus venosus and end caudal to the right atrium.

  • Intrahepatic portosystemic shunts in DV agenesis show a high rate of spontaneous closure postnatally.

Citation Format

  • Born M. The Ductus Venosus. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2021; 193: 521 – 526

Publication History

Received: 11 May 2020

Accepted: 18 September 2020

Publication Date:
05 November 2020 (online)

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