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Superior vena cava syndrome

What is the superior vena cava syndrome?
Superior vena cava is the outsized vein, the vein to facilitate carried blood from the upper part of the body back to the right side of the heart. The blood in your veins is oxygen-poor, so-called venous blood Vena-cava superior is the most important drenasjearen of venous blood from the head, neck, arms, upper chest. The form in which these veins converge into a single vein. Total length of the superior vena cava is 6-8 cm. Superior vena-cava is surrounded by relatively rigid structures, such as the sternum, pulmonary artery, trachea, aorta, right hovedbronkie and lymph nodes in the chest cavity and trachea. Because of the thin walls of blood vessels and the low internal pressure is the superior vena-cava exposed to pressure from surrounding structures, leading to increased pressure in the venous neck vessels and other blood vessels farther away from the heart.

When the superior vena cava clamped in this way, it will inhibit the flow of blood, and it will often from a clot at the site. Inhibition of blood flow causes blood / blood water accumulates above the narrow / tight area of ​​the vena cava superior. This leads to swell of the arm, head, neck. The venous blood vessels in these areas and possibly on the upper chest wall, will be expanded, and they will exude. The sum of all symptoms and signs it entails, is called a syndrome, hence the name superior vena cava syndrome.

Vena cava superior syndromes are mostly due to an underlying cancer. The condition is a medical emergency that requires quick - days or weeks - diagnostic evaluation and treatment.

Superior vena cava syndrome occurs in 5-10% of patients with right-sided tumor in the chest cavity. The incidence is higher among men because lung cancer is more common in men than in women. Malignant cause of superior vena cava syndrome is observed most frequently in the age group 40-60 years. Benign causes are, for the most part, commonly found in the age group 30-40 years.

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