JOURNAL ARTICLE

A contemporary perspective on superior vena cava syndrome

J C Chen, F Bongard, S R Klein
American Journal of Surgery 1990, 160 (2): 207-11
2382775
The superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome is usually associated with advanced malignancy and has a dismal prognosis. In order to analyze the impact of newer diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, we retrospectively examined the last 45 consecutive cases of SVC syndrome treated over a 12-year period. The underlying causes were advanced lung cancer (57%), mediastinal tumors (20%), and metastatic solid malignancy (5%). Forty-two patients (93%) were treated with external beam radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy with a mean patients survival of 3 months; 11 of 42 patients (26%) were treated without histologic diagnosis. Symptoms of SVC obstruction resolved in 80% of patients who underwent radiotherapy, with a mean interval of 4 weeks. The most common cause of death was respiratory arrest. Of the three patients with benign disease, two underwent caval reconstruction with greater than 3-year patency and relief of symptoms. We conclude that (1) SVC syndrome portends a grim prognosis when associated with malignancy but usually responds to radiation or chemotherapy; (2) CT scan is the best available method to document the extent and location of involvement; and (3) patients with benign disease should be evaluated for caval reconstruction, which may produce rewarding long-term results.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
2382775
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.