Paediatric Palliative Care Guidelines
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Edition/Revision: 1.0

Superior vena cava obstruction - Archived

  • Venous obstruction in the mediastinum and upper chest.
  • Usual cause is tumour, particularly lymphoma.
  • Pulmonary congestion leads to dyspnoea.
  • Congestion of intracranial vessels leads to feeling of fullness and headache.
Signs and symptoms
  • Headache, pressure or ‘fullness’ in head, worse on sneezing or bending forwards.
  • Shortness of breath and discomfort in chest.
  • Facial plethora, obvious collateral vessels over the upper chest wall.
  • Management of individual symptoms (particularly pain and dyspnoea).
  • Reduction of tumour oedema using steroids (NB ONLY use in discussion with oncologists as some lymphomas may be very sensitive to steroids).
  • Reduction of tumour mass using radiotherapy.
  • Surgical insertion of stent into the SVC.
Edition/Revision: 1.0
Created 18 Jul 2013 - Archived
Validated 19 Jul 2013 by Ian Back
Last modified 3 Dec 2022
Tue 06 Dec 2022 01:28:06 GMT
Last modified 3 Dec 2022