Superior vena cava (SVC) syndrome is a serious complication of benign and malignant diseases. Benign causes may be increasing because of the increased use of central venous cannulation. Modern surgical therapy is durable with a few complications. Traditional treatment for SVC obstruction from malignant causes has consisted of anticoagulation, radiation, chemotherapy, and occasionally surgery. Endovascular techniques present a new treatment option for these patients, and uses a combination of thrombolysis, angioplasty, and intravascular stents. Short-term results are excellent with relatively rapid patient recovery. Further research is needed to elucidate the long-term results of endovascular treatment and to find its role in benign and malignant disease.
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