Endovascular Stenting in Superior Vena Cava Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2022 Sep;45(9):1236-1254. doi: 10.1007/s00270-022-03178-z. Epub 2022 Jul 12.


Purpose: Endovascular stenting has been used to manage superior vena cava syndrome for several decades and has become standard firstline practice. This study aims to investigate the outcomes of endovascular stenting in the management of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS).

Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE and PUBMED online databases were searched, with studies involving more than ten adult patients included. Studies identified spanned 27 years, from 1993 to 2020. Meta-analyses were performed based on Clopper-Pearson estimation.

Results: Fifty-four studies were identified, for a total of 2249 patients, of which 2015 had malignant SVCS and 222 benign SVCS. Pooled technical success and clinical success rates were 96.8% (95% CI 96.0-97.5%) and 92.8% (95% CI 91.7-93.8%). Technical success and clinical success rates for studies investigating benign SVCS alone were identical at 88.8% (95% CI 83.0-93.1%). Pooled patency remained above 90% for the first year. Average complication and re-intervention rates were 5.78% (SD = 9.3182) and 9.11% (SD = 11.190).

Conclusions: This review confirms the effectiveness of endovascular stenting in managing SVCS. Further directions of research may include specific outcomes of endovascular stenting in benign SVCS, and the impact of procedural characteristics, such as the use of anticoagulation and type of stent used, on outcomes.

Level of evidence: Level III, systematic review of retrospective cohort studies.

Keywords: Endovascular stenting; Meta-analysis; Superior vena cava syndrome; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures* / methods
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents* / adverse effects
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome