Semin intervent Radiol 2011; 28(1): 032-038
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1273938
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Endovascular Management of Chronic Upper Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis and Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

Patrick Warren1 , Charles Burke1
  • 1Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
22 March 2011 (online)


Chronic upper extremity deep vein thrombosis (UEDVT) and superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) are important and underdiagnosed entities that are associated with significant morbidity, and both are becoming increasingly common due to the use of indwelling catheters and implantable central venous access devices. Currently, as many as 25% of patients with an indwelling catheter are diagnosed with chronic UEDVT or venous stenosis. SVCS is most commonly seen in the setting of malignancy, especially lung cancer and lymphoma. Endovascular management of chronic UEDVT and SVCS is accepted as an important first-line treatment given its high overall success rate and low morbidity as compared with medical and surgical treatments. In this article, the indications for treatment, complications, and success rates of the endovascular management of UEDVT and SVCS are reviewed. Relevant findings on presentation and physical exam as well as various imaging modalities and imaging findings are evaluated. Details of preprocedure evaluation, relevant anatomy, and avoidance of potential complications are discussed.


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Patrick Warren M.D. 

Fellow, Vascular/Interventional Division, Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina

CB # 7510, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7510