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Superior vena cava syndrome presenting as position-dependent periorbital oedema
  1. A L Nguyen1,
  2. H Belderbos2,
  3. J G van Harten2,
  4. L Wijne3
  1. 1Department of Dermatology, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Pulmonology, Amphia Ziekenhuis, Breda, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Dermatology, Amphia Ziekenhuis, Breda, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to L Wijne, lwijne{at}

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A 54-year-old woman presented to our dermatology clinic with a 2 months history of periorbital oedema, more prominent after lying down in horizontal position. Her face and throat felt swollen. She experienced dyspnoea on exertion, fatigue and had lost 6 kg of weight. Treatment with antihistamines and oral prednisone were ineffective. She smoked one pack of tobacco per week. Medical history and family history were unremarkable. She did not use any medications. Physical examination revealed prominent periorbital oedema and facial swelling (figure 1). Chest radiograph revealed a pathologically enlarged right hilum, broadened mediastinum and modest pleural effusion (figure 2). Diagnosis of superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) was made and the patient was referred to the pulmonologist.

Figure 1

Prominent periorbital oedema and facial swelling after lying down the night before as a presenting symptom of superior vena cava syndrome.

Figure 2

Chest radiography showing a broadened mediastinum with shading of the …

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