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Superior Vena Cava Obstruction
Siva P. Raman, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Pathology

        • Clinical Issues

          • Diagnostic Checklist

            TERMINOLOGY

            • Abbreviations

              • Superior vena cava (SVC) obstruction
            • Synonyms

              • Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome
            • Definitions

              • Occlusion of SVC by extrinsic compression, tumor invasion, or intrinsic thrombus

            IMAGING

            • General Features

              • Imaging Recommendations

                • CT Findings

                  • Ultrasonographic Findings

                    • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                      • Radiographic Findings

                        DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                          PATHOLOGY

                          • General Features

                            • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                              CLINICAL ISSUES

                              • Presentation

                                • Demographics

                                  • Natural History & Prognosis

                                    • Treatment

                                      DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                      • Consider

                                        • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                          Selected References

                                          1. Hoang VT et al: The focal hepatic hot spot sign with lung cancer in computed tomography. Respirol Case Rep. 8(8):e00671, 2020
                                          2. Klein-Weigel PF et al: Superior vena cava syndrome. Vasa. 49(6):437-48, 2020
                                          3. Sonavane SK et al: Comprehensive imaging review of the superior vena cava. Radiographics. 35(7):1873-92, 2015
                                          4. Rachapalli V et al: Superior vena cava syndrome: role of the interventionalist. Can Assoc Radiol J. 65(2):168-76, 2014
                                          5. Katabathina VS et al: Imaging of oncologic emergencies: what every radiologist should know. Radiographics. 33(6):1533-53, 2013
                                          6. Sheth S et al: Superior vena cava obstruction evaluation with MDCT. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 194(4):W336-46, 2010
                                          7. Cheng S: Superior vena cava syndrome: a contemporary review of a historic disease. Cardiol Rev. 17(1):16-23, 2009
                                          8. Saranteas T et al: Transesophageal echocardiography and vascular ultrasound in the diagnosis of catheter-related persistent left superior vena cava thrombosis. Eur J Echocardiogr. 10(3):452-5, 2009
                                          9. Lv FQ et al: Doppler superior vena cava flow evolution and respiratory variation in superior vena cava syndrome. Echocardiography. 25(4):360-5, 2008
                                          10. 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
                                          11. Lau D et al: Correction of superior vena cava syndrome with superficial femoral vein juguloatrial bypass. Ann Vasc Surg. 20(6):839-41, 2006
                                          12. Pieri S et al: Endovascular treatment of benign superior vena cava syndrome: venographic patterns and implications for treatment. Radiol Med. 110(4):359-69, 2005
                                          13. Qanadli SD et al: Helical CT phlebography of the superior vena cava: diagnosis and evaluation of venous obstruction. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 172(5):1327-33, 1999
                                          14. Bashist B et al: Abdominal CT findings when the superior vena cava, brachiocephalic vein, or subclavian vein is obstructed. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 167(6):1457-63, 1996
                                          15. Magnan PE et al: Surgical reconstruction of the superior vena cava. Cardiovasc Surg. 2(5):598-604, 1994
                                          16. Kim HJ et al: CT diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome: importance of collateral vessels. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 161(3):539-42, 1993
                                          17. Doty DB et al: Bypass of superior vena cava. Fifteen years' experience with spiral vein graft for obstruction of superior vena cava caused by benign disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 99(5):889-95; discussion 895-6, 1990
                                          Related Anatomy
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                                          Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                          References
                                          Tables

                                          Tables

                                          KEY FACTS

                                          • Terminology

                                            • Imaging

                                              • Pathology

                                                • Clinical Issues

                                                  • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                    TERMINOLOGY

                                                    • Abbreviations

                                                      • Superior vena cava (SVC) obstruction
                                                    • Synonyms

                                                      • Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome
                                                    • Definitions

                                                      • Occlusion of SVC by extrinsic compression, tumor invasion, or intrinsic thrombus

                                                    IMAGING

                                                    • General Features

                                                      • Imaging Recommendations

                                                        • CT Findings

                                                          • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                            • Nuclear Medicine Findings

                                                              • Radiographic Findings

                                                                DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                  PATHOLOGY

                                                                  • General Features

                                                                    • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                      CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                      • Presentation

                                                                        • Demographics

                                                                          • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                            • Treatment

                                                                              DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                              • Consider

                                                                                • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                  Selected References

                                                                                  1. Hoang VT et al: The focal hepatic hot spot sign with lung cancer in computed tomography. Respirol Case Rep. 8(8):e00671, 2020
                                                                                  2. Klein-Weigel PF et al: Superior vena cava syndrome. Vasa. 49(6):437-48, 2020
                                                                                  3. Sonavane SK et al: Comprehensive imaging review of the superior vena cava. Radiographics. 35(7):1873-92, 2015
                                                                                  4. Rachapalli V et al: Superior vena cava syndrome: role of the interventionalist. Can Assoc Radiol J. 65(2):168-76, 2014
                                                                                  5. Katabathina VS et al: Imaging of oncologic emergencies: what every radiologist should know. Radiographics. 33(6):1533-53, 2013
                                                                                  6. Sheth S et al: Superior vena cava obstruction evaluation with MDCT. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 194(4):W336-46, 2010
                                                                                  7. Cheng S: Superior vena cava syndrome: a contemporary review of a historic disease. Cardiol Rev. 17(1):16-23, 2009
                                                                                  8. Saranteas T et al: Transesophageal echocardiography and vascular ultrasound in the diagnosis of catheter-related persistent left superior vena cava thrombosis. Eur J Echocardiogr. 10(3):452-5, 2009
                                                                                  9. Lv FQ et al: Doppler superior vena cava flow evolution and respiratory variation in superior vena cava syndrome. Echocardiography. 25(4):360-5, 2008
                                                                                  10. 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
                                                                                  11. Lau D et al: Correction of superior vena cava syndrome with superficial femoral vein juguloatrial bypass. Ann Vasc Surg. 20(6):839-41, 2006
                                                                                  12. Pieri S et al: Endovascular treatment of benign superior vena cava syndrome: venographic patterns and implications for treatment. Radiol Med. 110(4):359-69, 2005
                                                                                  13. Qanadli SD et al: Helical CT phlebography of the superior vena cava: diagnosis and evaluation of venous obstruction. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 172(5):1327-33, 1999
                                                                                  14. Bashist B et al: Abdominal CT findings when the superior vena cava, brachiocephalic vein, or subclavian vein is obstructed. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 167(6):1457-63, 1996
                                                                                  15. Magnan PE et al: Surgical reconstruction of the superior vena cava. Cardiovasc Surg. 2(5):598-604, 1994
                                                                                  16. Kim HJ et al: CT diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome: importance of collateral vessels. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 161(3):539-42, 1993
                                                                                  17. Doty DB et al: Bypass of superior vena cava. Fifteen years' experience with spiral vein graft for obstruction of superior vena cava caused by benign disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 99(5):889-95; discussion 895-6, 1990