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Jornal Vascular Brasileiro

Print version ISSN 1677-5449On-line version ISSN 1677-7301


KARAKHANIAN, Walter Kegham; KARAKHANIAN, Walter Zavem  and  BELCZAK, Sergio Quilici. Superior vena cava syndrome: endovascular management. J. vasc. bras. [online]. 2019, vol.18, e20180062.  Epub Oct 07, 2019. ISSN 1677-5449.


The objective of management of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) is to promptly alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. Conventional approaches do not always achieve results as rapidly as endovascular management with stent placement.


To report the experience with endovascular management of SVCS of a Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Service at a Brazilian university hospital.


Symptomatic type III SVCS cases were managed with angioplasty and stent placement in 28 patients aged from 37 to 68 years, between 2002 and 2012. The etiology of SVCS was lung or thoracic cancer in 18 patients, while occlusion of the vein for prolonged use of catheters was the cause in the other 10 cases.


Superior vena cava occlusion repair was not possible in one oligosymptomatic patient with a very severe lesion. Technical success was achieved in 96.4%. There were two deaths, one due to pulmonary embolism, 24 hours after a successful procedure, and the other due to compression of the airways by tumor mass some hours after the procedure. Clinical success was achieved in all cases of technical success, including one patient who died suddenly, after total regression of SVCS symptoms. Symptoms disappeared 24 hours and 48 hours after management in16 and 8 patients respectively; improvement was slower but progressive after 48 hours in the remaining patients.


Endovascular stent placement was effective for management of SVCS, with good technical and clinical success rates and provided prompt relief from symptoms.

Keywords : endovascular procedures; vascular surgical procedures; vena cava; superior vena cava syndrome.

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