Management of pelvic venous stenosis with intravascular stainless steel stents

J. W. Carlson, G. K. Nazarian, E. Hartenbach, J. R. Carter, K. E. Dusenbery, J. M. Fowler, D. W. Hunter, L. L. Adcock, L. B. Twiggs, L. F. Carson

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31 Scopus citations


Patients with gynecologic malignancies may develop stenosis of the large pelvic veins as a result of their disease or its treatment. The percutaneous insertion of a stainless steel vascular stent is a novel approach to the management of an extrinsically compressed vein. The objective of this study was to review the results of treating lower extremity edema secondary to a pelvic venous stenosis through the percutaneous insertion of a stainless steel vascular stent. A retrospective review was performed on gynecologic oncology patients who presented with an edematous lower extremity and underwent an evaluation to diagnose proximal venous stenosis. The evaluation included sonography, venography, and balloon angioplasty prior to the percutaneous insertion of a stainless steel vascular stent. If a venous thrombosis was documented, thrombolysis with urokinase was performed prior to evaluation for venous stenosis. Records were reviewed for the etiology of the venous stenosis, the location and type of stent inserted, and the ability of the stent to maintain patency and provide symptomatic relief. Patency was evaluated at 1-week and then at 1-, 3-, and 6-month intervals. The probability of vascular stent patency was calculated using life table analysis. Ten patients with cervical (n = 4), corpus (n = 3), ovarian (n = 1), vulvar (n = 1), and vaginal (n = 1) cancer had one or more vascular stents inserted for the treatment of a stenosed pelvic vein. The etiologies of venous stenosis were radiation fibrosis and surgery (n = 5), postoperative fibrosis (n = 3), and metastatic tumor (n = 2). The stented vessels were the left common (n = 5) or left external (n = 4) iliac veins, the right common (n = 1) or right external (n = 3) iliac veins, and the right common femoral vein (n = 1). The median follow-up was 21 months. All patients had subjective resolution of their edematous extremity while the stents were patent. The interval probability of patency of stented veins was greater than 85% at each evaluation interval. Patency was 100% for patients beyond 6 months of follow-up. There were no major complications. The percutaneous intravascular insertion of a stainless steel stent was safe and subjectively effective in the management of venous stenosis associated with a gynecologic cancer. A prospective trial with objective endpoints may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

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