Purpose: To select patients for percutaneous transluminal stenting of chronic postthrombotic pelvic venous obstructions (CPPVO), we evaluated the clinical symptoms in a cohort of candidates and in a series of successfully treated patients. Methods: The symptoms of 42 patients (39 women) with CPPVO (38 left iliac; average history, 18 years) were recorded, and the venous anatomy was studied by means of duplex scanning, subtraction venography, and computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Successfully stented patients were controlled by means of duplex scanning and assessment of symptoms. Results: The typical symptoms of CPPVO were reported spontaneously by 24% of patients and uncovered by means of a targeted interview in an additional 47%. Of 42 patients, 15 had venous claudication, four had neurogenic claudication (caused by dilated veins in the spinal canal that arise from the collateral circulation), and 11 had both symptoms. Twelve patients had no specific symptoms. Placement of a stent was found to be technically feasible in 25 patients (60%), was attempted in 14 patients, and was primarily successful in 12 patients. One stent occluded within the first week. All other stents were fully patent after a mean of 15 months (range, 1 to 43 months). Satisfaction was high in the patients who had the typical symptoms, but low in those who lacked them. Conclusion: Venous claudication and neurogenic claudication caused by venous collaterals in the spinal canal are typical clinical features of CPPVO. We recommend searching for these symptoms, because recanalization by means of stenting is often feasible and rewarding.
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