Inferior Vena Cava (IVC)

How to perform: 

The tank is assessed in two sections. First the inferior vena cava (IVC) is assessed with the phased array probe. Then the abdomen and lung apices are assessed with the curvilinear probe, in the same way as an extended Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (eFAST) scan.

Inferior Vena Cava (IVC)

Probe position: With the probe in the subcostal position, rotate 90 so the marker now looks to the patient’s head. This image shows the IVC collapsing in inspiration

Image: authors own


The aorta can be mistaken for the IVC in the above view. The easiest way to avoid this mistake is to visualise the RA and follow the hepatic vein draining into the IVC.