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J Vet Cardiol. 2008 Dec;10(2):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jvc.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Cranial vena caval syndrome secondary to transvenous pacemaker implantation in two dogs.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2026, USA.


Superior vena caval syndrome is a rare, but reported complication of transvenous pacemaker implantation in humans. This syndrome can occur secondary to fibrotic and/or thrombotic obstruction of venous blood flow into the right atrium. The therapeutic approach depends on the suspicion of the presence of an active thrombus and may include antithrombotics, angioplasty and/or surgical venoplasty. We describe two dogs that developed severe pleural effusion secondary to stricture formation in the cranial vena cava 4 years after dual chamber transvenous pacemaker implantation. The stenosis was most likely due to fibrosis secondary to the transvenous pacemaker leads. Balloon angioplasty of the lesion resulted in resolution of the pleural effusion in both patients. Balloon angioplasty appears to be a viable therapeutic approach in dogs with cranial vena caval syndrome caused by focal stenotic lesions.

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