Radio-anatomy of the superior vena cava syndrome and therapeutic orientations

Diagn Interv Imaging. 2012 Jul;93(7-8):569-77. doi: 10.1016/j.diii.2012.03.025. Epub 2012 May 4.


Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) groups all the signs secondary to the obstruction of superior vena cava drainage and the increase in the venous pressure in the territories upstream. There are two major causes of SVCS: malignant, dominated by bronchopulmonary cancer, and benign, often secondary to the presence of poorly positioned implantable venous devices. CT scan is the key examination for the exploration of SVCS. It specifies the characteristics of the stenosis, its aetiology and detects collateral venous routes. Scannography reconstructions provide a true map of the obstacle, indispensable in planning the endovascular treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / therapy*