Review of evolving etiologies, implications and treatment strategies for the superior vena cava syndrome

Christopher Straka, James Ying, Feng Ming Kong, Christopher D. Willey, Joseph Kaminski, D. W Nathan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) is a relatively common sequela of mediastinal malignancies and may cause significant patient distress. SVCS is a medical emergency if associated with laryngeal or cerebral edema. The etiologies and management of SVCS have evolved over time. Non-malignant SVCS is typically caused by infectious etiologies or by thrombus in the superior vena cava and can be managed with antibiotics or anti-coagulation therapy, respectively. Radiation therapy (RT) has long been a mainstay of treatment of malignant SVCS. Chemotherapy has also been used to manage SVCS. In the past 20 years, percutaneous stenting of the superior vena cava has emerged as a viable option for SVCS symptom palliation. RT and chemotherapy are still the only modalities that can provide curative treatment for underlying malignant etiologies of SVCS. The first experiences with treating SVCS with RT were reported in the 1970’s, and several advances in RT delivery have subsequently occurred. Hypo-fractionated RT has the potential to be a more convenient therapy for patients and may provide equal or superior control of underlying malignancies. RT may be combined with stenting and/or chemotherapy to provide both immediate symptom palliation and long-term disease control. Clinicians should tailor therapy on a case-by-case basis. Multi-disciplinary care will maximize treatment expediency and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number229
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSpringerPlus
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Fingerprint

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
Radiotherapy
Superior Vena Cava
Therapeutics
Drug Therapy
Laryngeal Edema
Brain Edema
Neoplasms
Emergencies
Thrombosis
Anti-Bacterial Agents

Keywords

  • Hypo-fractionation
  • Multi-modality therapy
  • Stenting
  • Superior vena cava syndrome (SVC syndrome, SVCS)
  • Thoracic malignancies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Straka, C., Ying, J., Kong, F. M., Willey, C. D., Kaminski, J., & Kim, D. W. N. (2016). Review of evolving etiologies, implications and treatment strategies for the superior vena cava syndrome. SpringerPlus, 5(1), 1-13. [229]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-1900-7

Review of evolving etiologies, implications and treatment strategies for the superior vena cava syndrome. / Straka, Christopher; Ying, James; Kong, Feng Ming; Willey, Christopher D.; Kaminski, Joseph; Kim, D. W Nathan.

In: SpringerPlus, Vol. 5, No. 1, 229, 01.12.2016, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Straka, C, Ying, J, Kong, FM, Willey, CD, Kaminski, J & Kim, DWN 2016, 'Review of evolving etiologies, implications and treatment strategies for the superior vena cava syndrome', SpringerPlus, vol. 5, no. 1, 229, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-1900-7
Straka, Christopher ; Ying, James ; Kong, Feng Ming ; Willey, Christopher D. ; Kaminski, Joseph ; Kim, D. W Nathan. / Review of evolving etiologies, implications and treatment strategies for the superior vena cava syndrome. In: SpringerPlus. 2016 ; Vol. 5, No. 1. pp. 1-13.
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