What are the malignant causes of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2018
  • Author: Todd A Nickloes, DO, FACOS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

More than 80% of cases of SVCS are caused by malignant mediastinal tumors. [7, 8, 9] Bronchogenic carcinomas account for 75-80% of all these cases, with most of these being small-cell carcinomas. [3] Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (especially the large-cell type) account for 10-15%. Causes of SVCS appear similar to the relative incidence of primary lung and mediastinal tumors. Rare malignant diagnoses include Hodgkin disease, metastatic cancers, [10] primary leiomyosarcomas of the mediastinal vessels, and plasmocytomas. [11, 12, 13]


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