Superior vena cava syndrome is the compression of the superior vena cava, a large vein located in the upper chest, which collects blood from the head and arms and delivers it back to the heart. If this vein is compressed, or if a thrombus or clot develops within it, return blood flow to the heart is impeded. When blood flow to the heart is restricted, the increased pressure in the veins of the face and arms causes edema, or fluid buildup, in these areas.
Signs and symptoms of superior vena cava syndrome include
Other associated symptoms can include
- upper extremity swelling,
- distended chest veins, and
Cause of Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
The cause of superior vena cava syndrome is usually a tumor.
Other superior vena cava syndrome symptoms and signs
- Distended Chest Veins
- Distended Neck Veins
- Face and Neck Swelling
- Shortness of Breath
- Upper Extremity Swelling
Main Article on Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Symptoms and Signs
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Heart Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes,...
Heart Disease: Foods That Are Bad for Your Heart
If you want a healthy ticker, there are some foods you’ll want to indulge in every now and then only. Find out which ones and how...
Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
What is heart disease (coronary artery disease)? Learn about the causes of heart disease, arrhythmias and myopathy. Symptoms of...
Picture of Heart
The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. See a picture of the Heart and learn more...
Picture of Heart Detail
The heart is composed of specialized cardiac muscle, and it is four-chambered, with a right atrium and ventricle, and an...