Clinical Outcome after Intrahepatic Venous Stent Placement for Malignant Inferior Vena Cava Syndrome

Elias N. Brountzos, Christoph A. Binkert, Irene E. Panagiotou, Bryan D. Petersen, Hans Timmermans, Paul C. Lakin

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31 Scopus citations


We evaluated the clinical outcome of malignant inferior vena cava (IVC) syndrome after intrahepatic IVC stent placement by retrospective analysis of 50 consecutive patients (25 men, 25 women, age 32-83 years) with malignant IVC syndrome who were treated with intrahepatic stent placement. Gianturco-Rosch-Z (GRZ) stents (n = 45), and Wallstents (n = 5) were inserted. Clinical outcome was assessed from patients' records using a score based on leg swelling, scrotal/vulvar edema, ascites and anasarca before and after stent placement, as well as at last follow-up visit before death. Clinical follow-up was supplemented by duplex sonography in 36 patients. Inferior venocavography was performed in 5 patients prior to re- intervention. Follow-up time ranged from 1 to 932 days (mean 62 days). Mean pressure gradient in the IVC was reduced from 14 ± 4.1 mmHg before to 2.9 ± 3.2 mmHg after stent placement (p < 0.001). Four patients had stent occlusion, 2 of whom were successfully re-stented. Primary and secondary patency was 59% and 100%, respectively at 540 days. Immediate clinical data were available in 44 patients: 38 improved; 6 did not respond. Last follow-up visit data were available in 36 patients: 24 showed persistent symptom relief till death. All symptom scores were significantly improved after stent placement (p < 0.001) and with the exception of ascites, remained significantly improved (p < 0.05) until the last follow-up. Increased serum bilirubin was a common characteristic of clinical failures and recurrences. Intrahepatic IVC stent placement resulted in significant symptomatic relief in patients with malignant IVC syndrome. Palliation was effective even in patients with a very short life expectancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular and interventional radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • IVC syndrome
  • Malignancy
  • Palliation
  • Stent
  • Venous stenosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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