Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is a useful technique for imaging the inferior mesenteric vein. The aim of the present review was to discuss the normal anatomy and the pathologies of the inferior mesenteric vein, including partial or total thrombosis secondary to inflammation (pyophlebitis) and malignancy, occlusion, dilatation and reversed flow, which are rarely encountered. Optimal reconstruction techniques are also discussed. The pathologies of the inferior mesenteric vein can be clearly demonstrated using MDCT using curved-planar reformatted multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) and minimum intensity projection (MIP) images. (C) 2007 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.