Reach Us +44-1764-910199
All submissions of the EM system will be redirected to Online Manuscript Submission System. Authors are requested to submit articles directly to Online Manuscript Submission System of respective journal.

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Masquerading as Angioedema

Raj Parikh*, Janice Stanley and Rajive Tandon

1725 W Harrison St, Suite 054, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Corresponding Author:
Raj Parikh
1725 W Harrison St, Suite 054
Chicago, IL 60612, USA
Fax: 3129423131
[email protected]

Received date: March 15, 2016; Accepted date: March 18, 2016; Published date: March 25, 2016

Citation: Parikh R, Stanley J, Tandon R. Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Masquerading as Angioedema. J Intensive& Crit Care 2016, 2:2.

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Intensive and Critical Care


SVC syndrome can masquerade as an acute allergic reaction and results from external or intrinsic obstruction of blood flow through the SVC [1]. Common factors, including mast cell degranulation or kinin formation, can occur in both angioedema and dermatomyositis [2,3]. We present a clinical image case report of a patient who presented with symptoms of angioedema though was eventually diagnosed with SVC syndrome.

Case Summary

A 40-year-old woman with active dermatomyositis presented with fevers and left sided painful extremity swelling. Dermatomyositis flare was treated with IVIG and prednisone was increased. Empiric antibiotics were initiated for persistent fever with initial improvement seen. Subsequently, she developed significant facial and bilateral arm swelling thought to be angioedema and fevers up to 103°F despite restarting antibiotics (Figure 1). She was intubated, given higher dose steroids, and possible culprit medications were stopped. Fevers continued with tachycardia and declining platelet count. HIT antibody was negative. CT chest showed superior vena cava (SVC) and bilateral proximal brachiocephalic veins distended with hypodensities consistent with thrombosis (Figures 2 and 3). Unfractionated heparin infusion was started with improvement in her facial and lip edema.


Figure 1: Active dermatomyositis.


Figure 2: CT chest showing superior vena cava (SVC).


Figure 3:Bilateral proximal brachiocephalic veins distended with hypodensities consistent with thrombosis.


SVC syndrome, caused by dermatomyositis, and angioedema typically manifest distinctly; however, given related inflammatory cascades, misdiagnosis is possible. Our case highlights the similarities in presentation between angioedema and SVC syndrome. Establishing the diagnosis of SVC syndrome is imperative as severe cases can develop cerebral edema or respiratory compromise.


Select your language of interest to view the total content in your interested language

Viewing options

Post your comment

Share This Article

Flyer image
journal indexing image

Post your comment

captcha   Reload  Can't read the image? click here to refresh