Caput medusae Classification & external resources
I86.8 (ILDS I86.820)
Caput medusae is the appearance of distended and engorged umbilical veins which are seen radiating from the umbilicus across the abdomen to join systemic veins. The name caput medusae (Latin for "head of Medusa") originates from the apparent similarity to Medusa's hair once Minerva had turned it into snakes.
Additional recommended knowledge
It is a sign of severe
portal hypertension that has decompressed by portal-systemic shunting through the umbilical veins.
 Differential diagnosis
Inferior vena cava obstruction
Produces abdominal collateral veins develop to bypass the blocked inferior vena cava and permit venous return from the legs.
How to differentiate
Determine the direction of flow in the veins below the umbilicus.
Caput Medusae - flow is towards the legs
Inferior vena cava obstruction - flow is towards the head.
Hepatic Pathology. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. ^
Circulatory system pathology (I, 390-459) Hypertension Hypertensive heart disease - Hypertensive nephropathy - Secondary hypertension ( Renovascular hypertension) Ischaemic heart disease Angina pectoris ( Prinzmetal's angina) - Myocardial infarction - Dressler's syndrome Pulmonary circulation Pulmonary embolism - Cor pulmonale Pericardium Pericarditis - Pericardial effusion - Cardiac tamponade Endocardium/ heart valves Endocarditis - ( mitral valves regurgitation, prolapse, stenosis) - ( aortic valves stenosis, insufficiency) - pulmonary valves ( stenosis, insufficiency) - tricuspid valves ( stenosis, insufficiency) Myocardium Myocarditis - Cardiomyopathy ( Dilated cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Loeffler endocarditis, Restrictive cardiomyopathy) - Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia Electrical conduction system of the heart Heart block: AV block ( First degree, Second degree, Third degree) - Bundle branch block (Left, Right) - Bifascicular block - Trifascicular block Pre-excitation syndrome ( Wolff-Parkinson-White, Lown-Ganong-Levine) - Long QT syndrome - Adams-Stokes syndrome - Cardiac arrest - Sudden cardiac death Arrhythmia: Paroxysmal tachycardia ( Supraventricular, AV nodal reentrant, Ventricular) - Atrial flutter - Atrial fibrillation - Ventricular fibrillation - Premature contraction ( Atrial, Ventricular) - Ectopic pacemaker - Sick sinus syndrome Other heart conditions Heart failure - Cardiovascular disease - Cardiomegaly - Ventricular hypertrophy (Left, Right) Cerebrovascular diseases Intracranial hemorrhage/ cerebral hemorrhage: Extra-axial hemorrhage ( Epidural hemorrhage, Subdural hemorrhage, Subarachnoid hemorrhage) Intra-axial hematoma ( Intraventricular hemorrhages, Intraparenchymal hemorrhage) - Anterior spinal artery syndrome - Binswanger's disease - Moyamoya disease Arteries, arterioles and capillaries Atherosclerosis ( Renal artery stenosis) - Aortic dissection/ Aortic aneurysm ( Abdominal aortic aneurysm) - Aneurysm - Raynaud's phenomenon/ Raynaud's disease - Buerger's disease - Vasculitis/Arteritis (Aortitis) - Intermittent claudication - Arteriovenous fistula - Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia - Spider angioma Veins, lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes Thrombosis/ Phlebitis/ Thrombophlebitis ( Deep vein thrombosis, May-Thurner syndrome, Portal vein thrombosis, Venous thrombosis, Budd-Chiari syndrome, Renal vein thrombosis, Paget-Schroetter disease) - Varicose veins / Portacaval anastomosis ( Hemorrhoid, Esophageal varices, Varicocele, Gastric varices, Caput medusae) - Superior vena cava syndrome - Lymph ( Lymphadenitis, Lymphedema, Lymphangitis) Other Hypotension ( Orthostatic hypotension) See also congenital ( Q20-Q28, 745-747)