The IVC view (2)

Distended IVC

The IVC view is of great value in the acute assessment of shock and shortness of breath. As an example, in healthy blood donors the measurement of the IVC diameter is a reliable indicator of blood loss, with even small amounts (450 ml) causing a mean decrease in IVC diameter of 5 mm.

Conversely, a distended IVC suggests a high preload, or could be an indicator of an obstructive cause of shock e.g. cardiac tamponade, pneumothorax or pulmonary embolism.