Endovascular Treatment of Malignant Superior Vena Cava Syndrome through Upper-Limb Access: A Comparison between Venous-Dedicated and Conventional Stents

Published:October 27, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvir.2020.08.007



      To retrospectively evaluate the technical and clinical outcomes of superior vena cava (SVC) stent placement through upper-limb venous access in malignant SVC syndrome (SVCS) and compare the efficacy of different nitinol stent types.

      Materials and Methods

      Between 2006 and 2018, 156 patients (132 male; mean age, 62 y; age range, 33–81 y) underwent SVC stent placement for malignant obstructions through upper-limb venous access with 1 of 3 types of nitinol stent: 1 venous-dedicated (Sinus-XL stent) and 2 non–venous-dedicated (E-Luminexx Vascular Stent and Protégé GPS). Cases of common femoral vein access or non-nitinol stents were excluded from further analysis. The mean duration of follow-up was 8 mo.


      Technical success was achieved in 99.3% of cases. One patient died during the procedure as a result of cardiac tamponade. Balloon predilation was performed in 10 patients and postdilation in 126. Mean procedural time was 34.4 min (range, 18–80 min). Overall survival rates were 92.3%, 57.3%, and 26.8%, and overall primary patency rates were 94.5%, 84.8% and 79.6%, at 1, 6, and 12 mo, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in primary patency rates between venous- and non–venous-dedicated stents or among different Stanford SVCS grading groups (P > .05).


      SVC stent placement through an upper-limb approach is a safe, fast, and effective technique. There is no evident benefit of venous-dedicated vs non–venous-dedicated stents in the treatment of malignant SVCS.


      BCV (brachiocephalic vein), SVC (superior vena cava), SVCS (superior vena cava syndrome)
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