CT imaging findings of abdominopelvic vascular compression syndromes: what the radiologist needs to know

Cecilia Gozzo, Dario Giambelluca, Roberto Cannella (Coresponding Author), Giovanni Caruana, Agita Jukna, Dario Picone, Massimo Midiri, Giuseppe Salvaggio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Abdominopelvic vascular compression syndromes include a variety of uncommon conditions characterized by either extrinsic compression of blood vessels by adjacent anatomical structures (i.e., median arcuate ligament syndrome, nutcracker syndrome, May-Thurner syndrome) or compression of hollow viscera by adjacent vessels (i.e., superior mesenteric artery syndrome, ureteropelvic junction obstruction, ureteral vascular compression syndromes, portal biliopathy). These syndromes can be unexpectedly diagnosed even in asymptomatic patients and the predisposing anatomic conditions can be incidentally discovered on imaging examinations performed for other indications, or they can manifest with atypical abdominal symptoms and acute complications, which may lead to significant morbidity if unrecognized. Although computed tomography (CT) is an accurate noninvasive technique for their detection, the diagnosis remains challenging due to the uncommon clinical presentation and often overlooked imaging features. Dynamic imaging may be performed in order to evaluate patients with inconstant symptoms manifesting in a specific position. The purposes of this paper are to review the CT imaging findings of abdominopelvic vascular compression syndromes, correlating with anatomical variants and to provide key features for the noninvasive imaging diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages13
JournalInsights into Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2020


  • Abdomen
  • Computed tomography
  • Vascular compression syndrome
  • Vascular syndromes

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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