Thrombogenic catheter-associated superior vena cava syndrome

Case Rep Emerg Med. 2013;2013:793054. doi: 10.1155/2013/793054. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Abstract

Superior vena cava syndrome has historically been associated with malignancy. With the increasing use of indwelling central lines, catheters, and pacemakers in the past decade, there have been an increasing number of cases associated with thrombosis rather than by direct external compression. Patients presenting to the ED with an acute process of SVC syndrome need to be assessed in a timely fashion. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) or magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) are superb modalities for diagnosis and can quickly be used in the ED. Treatment is oriented towards the underlying cause of the syndrome. In cases of thrombogenic catheter-associated SVC syndrome, anticoagulation is the mainstay of treatment. We present a case report and discussion of a 56-year-old male with a history of metastatic colorectal cancer and an indwelling central venous port with acute signs and symptoms of superior vena cava syndrome.