JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Endovascular treatment of stenoses in the superior vena cava syndrome caused by non-tumoral lesions.

We report our experience in percutaneous treatment of non-tumoral superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) between December 1998 and July 2001. During a period of 2.5 years, 9 patients (age range 27-84 years, mean age 50 years) were treated percutaneously for significant non-tumoral SVCS. Symptomatic SVCS were due to dialysis catheters (7), central line (1) and radiation therapy (1). In thrombotic occlusions and severe stenosis, a preliminary in situ thrombolysis was achieved before angioplasty. Patients were followed by echo-Doppler, computed tomography angiography (CTA), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), or phlebography. Complete recanalization of the veins and immediate resolution of symptomatic SVCS were obtained in all patients, with no procedure-related complication. Thirteen stents were placed in 9 patients with a mean clinical follow-up of 9.1 months (range 2-23 months). One hundred percent patency at 6 months was obtained. Two patients recurred twice and were treated with new stent placement. At 12 months the patency was 67% and assisted patency was 100%. Stent placement in benign symptomatic SVCS is a safe and minimally invasive procedure, with no technical and clinical complications in our experience. It allowed immediate relief of symptoms, and in dialysed patients could provide continued use of hemodialysis access. Close clinical surveillance is mandatory to assess stent patency.

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