Causes of superior vena caval syndrome

  • Superior vena caval syndrome refers to the symptoms that arise due to obstruction to the superior vena cava
  • 90% of superior vena caval syndrome is caused by malignancies
  • Among malignancies, lung cancer is the most common cause followed by lymphomas
  • Other causes of superior vena caval syndrome include thymomas, metastatic breast carcinomas, metastatic genitourinary and gastrointestinal cancers
  • Among different types of lung cancer, small cell variant has the highest chance of causing SVC syndrome
  • Approximately 8% of patients with small cell lung cancer develop SVC syndome compared to 4% of non small cell lung cancers

Clinical hematology and oncology: presentation, diagnosis, and treatment By Bruce Furie

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