Endovascular stent provides more effective early relief of SVC obstruction compared to balloon angioplasty

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2014 Jun 1;83(7):E272-6. doi: 10.1002/ccd.24413. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


Objective: To determine whether superior vena cava (SVC) stent implantation is superior to balloon angioplasty for relieving SVC stenosis.

Background: SVC stent and balloon dilation have been used as treatment for SVC stenosis. Although safe and effective, outcome data comparing the two methods are limited.

Methods: A Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium review identified SVC stenosis. Patients who required SVC intervention were divided into two subgroups-balloon dilation (Group A) and stent implantation (Group B). Logistic regression and the log-rank test were used to test the need for re-intervention within 6 months after the initial procedure.

Results: SVC intervention was performed on 210/637 patients with SVC stenosis (33%). There were 108/210 (51%) patients with balloon dilation (Group A) and 102/210 (49%) with stent implantation (Group B). Re-intervention within 6 months of the initial intervention was more common in Group A compared to Group B [Group A = 31/40 (77.5%); Group B = 5/22 (22.7%)]. The odds-ratio for re-intervention within 6 months of the initial procedure for balloon vs. stent, is 7.3 [95% CI: (2.91, 22.3), P < 0.0001]. In addition, during the first 6 months after an intervention for SVC stenosis the proportion of patients with stent implantation that remained free of re-intervention was significantly higher than after balloon angioplasty (log-rank test, P < 0.0001). Neither age nor weight was significantly associated with the need for re-intervention.

Conclusions: SVC stent implantation is more effective than angioplasty in relief of SVC obstruction. Weight and age are not risk factors for early re-intervention.

Keywords: SVC stenosis; balloon angioplasty; re-intervention; stent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty, Balloon / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult