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Int Angiol. 2011 Oct;30(5):458-61.

Endovascular treatment of superior vena cava syndrome.

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Department of Radiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.



The aim of this study was to report our experience with palliative stent treatment of superior vena cava syndrome.


Between January 2008 and December 2009, 30 patients (mean age 60.7 years) were treated with stents because of stenosed superior vena cava. All patients presented clinically with superior vena cava syndrome and according caval stenosis confirmed by computed tomography. The causes of stenoses were non-small cell carcinoma in 22 patients and small cell carcinoma in 8 patients.


In all patients the stents were placed as intended in all patients there was an immediate clinical improvement with considerable reduction in the edema of upper extremities and head. There was, however, continous dyspnea in five patients (17%) and two patients (7%) had persistent visible collateral venous circulations on the upper chest. There were no stent associated complications. All patients were followed clinically till death and the median follow-up period was 2.8 months (15-420 days). During follow-up three cases of stent thrombosis (one complete and two partial thrombosis) were observed.


Palliative care with stent implantation for superior vena cava syndrome is a minimal invasive and safe procedure with good clinical effect giving the patients a significant better quality of their residual life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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