Successful treatment of recurrent superior vena cava syndrome due to pulmonary adenocarcinoma using intravascular ultrasound

Published:November 09, 2022DOI:


      Patients with malignant diseases may develop symptoms of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) quickly because rapid tumor growth does not allow adequate time to develop collateral blood flow. Therefore, malignant SVCS is a medical emergency associated with neurological or pharyngeal-laryngeal signs. Recently, interventional endovascular treatment (EVT) has achieved acceptable results. We describe the case of a 55-year-old woman with pulmonary adenocarcinoma and laryngeal edema. In the first EVT, bare-metal-stent was implanted into the SVCS with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guidance. The IVUS showed insufficient stent-mid expansion. We did not use additional ballooning because of the risk of superior vena cava (SVC) rupture. Three months later, the SVCS recurred. A second EVT was performed, and IVUS imaging suggested tumor ingrowth into the SVC through the stent struts. We considered that the tumor ingrowth could be covered in the SVC using stent-graft. The patient showed no recurrence of SVCS for about 12 months. IVUS-guided implantation of stent for the treatment of malignant SVCS has not been reported. This case report revealed that stent therapy using IVUS for SVCS is useful.

      Learning objective

      Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) due to malignancy is not rare. Recently, endovascular treatment for SVCS has achieved acceptable results. However, SVC stenting in SVCS as having primary patency rate varies for each report. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guided implantation of stent for malignant SVCS treatment has not been reported. In this case, we suspected insufficient stent expansion and tumor ingrowth as the possible cause of in-stent restenosis. Therefore, stent therapy using IVUS for malignant SVCS can be helpful.


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