Current Treatment Options in Oncology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 77–91 | Cite as

Superior vena cava syndrome

  • L. James Wudel
  • Jonathan C. Nesbitt

Opinion statement

Lung cancer is the most common cause of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) and requires timely recognition and management. The syndrome is rarely an oncologic emergency in the absence of tracheal compression and airway compromise. Treatment depends on the etiology of the obstructive process. Treatment should also be individualized and should not be undertaken until a diagnosis is obtained. Most patients with SVCS secondary to lung cancer can be treated with appropriately directed chemotherapy or radiotherapy. With the refinement of endovascular stents, percutaneous stenting of the SVC is being increasingly used as primary treatment modality. Thrombotic occlusion can be treated with appropriate lytic agents. In rare circumstances, surgical decompression can be performed; bypass or replacement of the SVC results in immediate improvement in the majority of cases and can be accomplished with low morbidity.


Stent Placement Streptokinase Superior Vena Superior Vena Cava Main Drug Interaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. James Wudel
    • 1
  • Jonathan C. Nesbitt
    • 1
  1. 1.Vanderbilt University Medical Center and St. Thomas HospitalNashvilleUSA

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