Keywords: superior vena cava, svc syndrome (PubMed Search)
Superior Vana Cava Synrome....when to suspect
Two common causes of SVC syndrome include thrombus (secondary to CV catheters) and lung tumors/lymphoma
Consider this diagnosis in patients with a history of cancer and/or who have a central line in place and the complaint of facial swelling. Patients may not look swollen to you.
In addition, make sure to look at their necks and chest wall-presence of asymmetric, prominent veins should prompt consideration for this diagnosis.
A useful clinical tool is to look at the patient's driver's license (assuming they have one) and compare to their appearance on presentation.
Workup in most cases will involve a CT of the chest.
Clinical Oncology, 2007