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February 1964

AzygographyAn Aid in the Evaluation of Thoracic Pathology

Author Affiliations

Senior Resident in Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Louisville General Hospital (Dr. Mays); Instructor in Radiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Louisville General Hospital (Dr. Gonzales).; From the Departments of Surgery and Radiology, University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1964;88(2):233-238. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310200071016

The idea of introducing radiopaque material into the circulation via the bone marrow was first described by Erhardt and Kneip in 1943.1 The roentgenographic demonstration of the azygos vein, using an intraosseous technique was first reported by Tori2 and Susse3 in 1954. More recently Schobinger4 has described individual azygographic patterns in normal and diseased states.

Because the many anatomical relations of the azygos vein may affect it directly or indirectly as they undergo pathologic change, it would seem that the azygogram could be an important diagnostic and prognostic tool.

We have attempted to determine the value of azygography by correlating the clinical, roentgenological, operative, and pathological data in patients with various thoracic diseases.

Anatomy  The adult azygos system consists of two longitudinal pathways which act as a single physiological unit (Fig 1).The azygos vein arises at the level of the first or second lumbar vertebra

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