Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR), also known as partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection (PAPVC), is a rare congenital cardiovascular condition in which some of the pulmonary veins, but not all, drain into the systemic circulation rather than in the left atrium.

Clinical presentation

Patients with large shunts may present with symptoms of dyspnea, chest pain and palpitations, signs like tachycardia and murmur can be encountered. Cases of secondary pulmonary arterial hypertension have been reported .



Four types of PAPVR have been described:

Left-sided PAPVR has been reported to be found more often in adults, whereas right-sided PAPVR is reported more commonly in children . It is unclear if this is because of a higher proportion of symptomatic manifestation of the latter. The left upper lobe vein anomaly is thought to be most common.

  • in ~40% of patients with right-sided PAPVC, an atrial septal defect is seen
  • more rarely it is seen with ostium primum defect, a subtype of atrioventricular defects

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph

Chest radiographic features are particular to each subtype of PAPVR. The abnormal vein is rarely identified, except in cases of Scimitar syndrome. Pulmonary venous congestion can be seen if the venous drainage is obstructed.

Cardiomegaly can also be seen if significant abnormal intracardiac venous drainage occurs.


Utilization of contrast-enhanced studies with MDCT technology enables both detection and characterization of the anomalies. It is considered the imaging modality of choice .

Treatment and prognosis

Therapeutic options include surgical repair with ASD patching, intracardiac baffle, anomalous vein anastomosis, systemic vein translocation and Warden procedure inter alia.

Differential diagnosis

Imaging differential considerations include:

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