Surgery for malignant involvement of the superior vena cava.

W. W. Lai, M. H. Wu, N. S. Chou, M. Y. Lin

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This study reviews surgical operations on seven patients with intrathoracic tumors involving the superior vena cava (SVC). Among these patients, five were found to have advanced bronchogenic carcinoma; one was found to have thyroid carcinoma; and another was found to have thymic carcinoma. The incidence of SVC involvement in resectable lung cancer patients at the National Cheng-Kung University Hospital was 5.8% (5/85). Total excision of SVC was done in three patients and three different prostheses (ringed GoreTex, woven Dacron and pericardial tube graft) were interposed. Four patients underwent partial excision and repair: one by direct suture and three by autologous pericardial patch. A temporary SVC-right atrium internal shunt was used in two of these seven patients. The mean time of SVC cross-clamping in five patients was 20 minutes (10-28 minutes), and the mean value of the central venous pressure at the time of SVC cross-clamping was 34 mmHg (18-54 mmHg). There were no operative deaths or neurologic sequels. Venography or computed tomography obtained 7-100 days after surgery demonstrated all but one to be patent. In conclusion, SVC reconstruction with concomitant tumor resection can be performed if a patient fulfills the following criteria: 1) there is no distant metastasis; 2) a radiosensitive or chemotherapy-effective tumor has been ruled out; and 3) total SVC occlusion or prominent collateral circulation should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-995
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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