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Article
October 1934

OBSTRUCTION OF THE SUPERIOR VENA CAVA: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Author Affiliations

ST. LOUIS
From the Medical and Surgical Chest Service of Barnes Hospital and the Department of Surgery of Washington University School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1934;29(4):669-677. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01180040145012
Abstract

The clinical features of obstruction of the superior vena cava have been discussed by Ehrlich, Ballon and Graham.1 As a review of the literature revealed no references to experimental studies of this condition in laboratory animals, a series of experiments were undertaken in which the superior vena cava was obstructed above, below or including the azygos vein. The object of the experiments was, primarily, to determine the tolerance of animals to occlusion of the superior vena cava, to measure the effects on venous pressures and to trace the paths of collateral circulation. Additional observations were made to determine the immediate effects of obstruction of the superior vena cava on the arterial blood pressure.

EXPERIMENTAL METHOD  Dogs were anesthetized with ether, positive pressure with the intratracheal technic being employed. An intercostal incision was made aseptically on the right side of the chest, usually through the fourth intercostal space. The superior

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