Stent implantation in patients with superior vena cava syndrome

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1997 Aug;169(2):429-32. doi: 10.2214/ajr.169.2.9242747.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using Wallstent implantation to treat superior vena cava syndrome due to malignant tumors.

Subjects and methods: Digital subtraction angiography showed obstruction of the superior vena cava in 13 patients who then underwent transluminal dilatation and Wallstent implantation. The patients were treated with IV heparin and monitored in the emergency department. Thereafter, they were treated with a platelet inhibitor for 4 weeks.

Results: Because their signs and symptoms improved, patients were able to resume radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or both. One patient died of cardiac arrhythmia 1 day after stent placement. Although eight patients have subsequently died of their bronchial or thyroid gland tumors, superior vena cava syndrome did not recur in any patient.

Conclusion: Percutaneous implantation of Wallstent endoprostheses provides excellent palliation for superior vena cava syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Stents*
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / etiology
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome / therapy*
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / complications