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Superior Vena Cava Obstruction
Brett W. Carter, MD; Gerald F. Abbott, MD, FACR
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            • Diagnostic Checklist

              TERMINOLOGY

              • Synonyms

                • Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome
              • Definitions

                • Obstruction of SVC due to intraluminal, intramural, or extrinsic lesion
                  • Impaired pulmonary venous return to right atrium from head, neck, upper extremities, & trunk

              IMAGING

              • General Features

                • Radiographic Findings

                  • CT Findings

                    • MR Findings

                      • Ultrasonographic Findings

                        • Angiographic Findings

                          • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                            • Imaging Recommendations

                              DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                PATHOLOGY

                                • General Features

                                  CLINICAL ISSUES

                                  • Presentation

                                    • Demographics

                                      • Natural History & Prognosis

                                        • Treatment

                                          DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                          • Consider

                                            • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                              Selected References

                                              1. McCurdy MT et al: Oncologic emergencies. Crit Care Med. 40(7):2212-22, 2012
                                              2. Warren P et al: Endovascular management of chronic upper extremity deep vein thrombosis and superior vena cava syndrome. Semin Intervent Radiol. 28(1):32-8, 2011
                                              3. Eren S et al: The superior vena cava syndrome caused by malignant disease. Imaging with multi-detector row CT. Eur J Radiol. 59(1):93-103, 2006
                                              4. Kalra M et al: Open surgical and endovascular treatment of superior vena cava syndrome caused by nonmalignant disease. J Vasc Surg. 38(2):215-23, 2003
                                              5. Kim HJ et al: CT diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome: importance of collateral vessels. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 161(3):539-42, 1993
                                              6. Parish JM et al: Etiologic considerations in superior vena cava syndrome. Mayo Clin Proc. 56(7):407-13, 1981
                                              7. Webb WR et al: Catheter venography in the superior vena cava syndrome. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 129(1):146-8, 1977
                                              Related Anatomy
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                                              Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                              References
                                              Tables

                                              Tables

                                              KEY FACTS

                                              • Terminology

                                                • Imaging

                                                  • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                    • Pathology

                                                      • Clinical Issues

                                                        • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                          TERMINOLOGY

                                                          • Synonyms

                                                            • Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome
                                                          • Definitions

                                                            • Obstruction of SVC due to intraluminal, intramural, or extrinsic lesion
                                                              • Impaired pulmonary venous return to right atrium from head, neck, upper extremities, & trunk

                                                          IMAGING

                                                          • General Features

                                                            • Radiographic Findings

                                                              • CT Findings

                                                                • MR Findings

                                                                  • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                                    • Angiographic Findings

                                                                      • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                                        • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                          DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                            PATHOLOGY

                                                                            • General Features

                                                                              CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                              • Presentation

                                                                                • Demographics

                                                                                  • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                    • Treatment

                                                                                      DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                      • Consider

                                                                                        • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                          Selected References

                                                                                          1. McCurdy MT et al: Oncologic emergencies. Crit Care Med. 40(7):2212-22, 2012
                                                                                          2. Warren P et al: Endovascular management of chronic upper extremity deep vein thrombosis and superior vena cava syndrome. Semin Intervent Radiol. 28(1):32-8, 2011
                                                                                          3. Eren S et al: The superior vena cava syndrome caused by malignant disease. Imaging with multi-detector row CT. Eur J Radiol. 59(1):93-103, 2006
                                                                                          4. Kalra M et al: Open surgical and endovascular treatment of superior vena cava syndrome caused by nonmalignant disease. J Vasc Surg. 38(2):215-23, 2003
                                                                                          5. Kim HJ et al: CT diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome: importance of collateral vessels. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 161(3):539-42, 1993
                                                                                          6. Parish JM et al: Etiologic considerations in superior vena cava syndrome. Mayo Clin Proc. 56(7):407-13, 1981
                                                                                          7. Webb WR et al: Catheter venography in the superior vena cava syndrome. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 129(1):146-8, 1977