Jornal Vascular Brasileiro
Jornal Vascular Brasileiro
Original Article

Superior vena cava syndrome: endovascular management

Tratamento endovascular da síndrome da veia cava superior

Walter Kegham Karakhanian; Walter Zavem Karakhanian; Sergio Quilici Belczak

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Abstract: Background: 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.

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

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

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


endovascular procedures, vascular surgical procedures, vena cava, superior vena cava syndrome


Resumo: Contexto: O tratamento da síndrome da veia cava superior (SVCS) visa aliviar, rapidamente, os sintomas desconfortáveis. Os resultados das abordagens convencionais nem sempre são tão rápidos quanto os do tratamento endovascular com colocação de stent.

Objetivos: Relatar a experiência de um Serviço de Cirurgia Vascular e Endovascular de hospital universitário brasileiro com o tratamento endovascular da SVCS.

Métodos: Vinte e oito pacientes com SVCS sintomática tipo III foram tratados com angioplastia e colocação de stent, entre 2002 e 2012. A idade variou entre 37 e 68 anos. A SVCS resultou de doença neoplásica pulmonar ou torácica em 18 pacientes e de oclusão da veia por uso prolongado de cateteres em 10 pacientes.

Resultados: Não foi possível reparo da oclusão da veia em um paciente oligossintomático com lesão bastante grave. O sucesso técnico foi de 96,4%. Houve duas mortes, sendo uma por embolia pulmonar 24 horas após procedimento bem-sucedido e outra por compressão das vias aéreas por massa tumoral algumas horas após o procedimento. Houve sucesso clínico em todos os casos de sucesso técnico, incluindo o paciente que faleceu de repente após ter apresentado regressão total dos sintomas. Os sintomas desapareceram em 24 e 48 horas após o tratamento em, respectivamente, 16 e oito pacientes. A melhora foi mais lenta, embora progressiva, após 48 horas nos demais pacientes.

Conclusões: A colocação de stent endovascular no tratamento da SVCS foi eficaz, com boas taxas de sucesso técnico e clínico e alívio mais rápido dos sintomas.


procedimentos endovasculares, procedimentos cirúrgicos vasculares, veia cava, síndrome da veia cava superior


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