Superior Vena Cava Replacement for Thymic Malignancies

Giulio Maurizi, Camilla Poggi, Antonio D'Andrilli, Camilla Vanni, Anna Maria Ciccone, Mohsen Ibrahim, Claudio Andreetti, Simone Maria Tierno, Federico Venuta, Erino Angelo Rendina

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37 Scopus citations


Background: Advanced-stage thymic tumors infiltrating the superior vena cava (SVC), when radically resectable, can be surgically treated by SVC prosthetic replacement within a multimodality therapeutic approach. We hereby present our series of patients undergoing SVC resection and prosthetic reconstruction for stage III or IV thymic malignancies. Methods: Between 1989 and 2015, 27 patients with thymic tumors (21 thymoma, 6 thymic carcinoma) infiltrating the SVC underwent radical resection with a SVC prosthetic replacement by a bovine pericardial conduit in 12 cases, a polytetrafluoroethylene conduit in 13, a porcine pericardial conduit in 1, and a saphenous vein conduit in 1. All the patients underwent vascular conduit reconstruction by the cross-clamping technique. Results: Six patients were myasthenic. All resections were complete (R0). Twelve patients received induction treatment. Pulmonary resection was associated in 16 patients (11 wedge, 5 pneumonectomy). Twenty-two patients were Masaoka stage III and 5 were stage IVa. Mortality rate was 7.4%; no mortality was related to the vascular reconstruction. Major complication rate was 11.1%. At a median follow-up of 58 (range, 4 to 134) months, recurrence occurred in 9 (36%) patients. Three- and 5-year overall survival rates were 80% and 58.1%, respectively. Three-and 5-year cancer-specific survival were 90.5% and 75.4%. Cancer-specific survival rates of thymoma patients at 5 years were 93.8%. Five-year cancer-specific survival of all stage III patients was 77.1%. Thymic carcinoma histology was a negative prognostic factor. Long-term patency of the pericardial conduits was 100%. Conclusions: En bloc resection and conduit reconstruction of the SVC is a good option to allow radical resection of locally advanced thymic tumors. A heterologous pericardial conduit represents the favorite option in our experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


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