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June 1953

SUPERIOR VENA CAVA SYNDROME: Differentiation Between Simple Obstruction and Aorticocaval Communication

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine and Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1953;91(6):800-807. doi:10.1001/archinte.1953.00240180109013

RECENTLY we observed a case of superior vena cava syndrome which resulted from a dissecting aneurysm of the thoracic aorta. This unusual combination of vascular lesions prompted us to review the autopsy files of the Rhode Island Hospital. In the period 1932-1951, a total of 7,006 autopsies were performed. Dissecting aneurysm of the aorta was encountered in 25 cases, an incidence of 0.35%. In none of these was there superior vena cava obstruction. A review of the literature disclosed that in only one other instance has such an entity been described.1 We wish to report the second such case, which clearly demonstrated simple obstruction of the superior vena cava. In addition, we wish to present one of two cases of aorticocaval communication treated at the Rhode Island Hospital and to differentiate between this condition and simple obstruction of the superior vena cava.


Case 1.  —E. M.,

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