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J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Jul;3(7):1370-5.

Clinical experience with retrievable vena cava filters: results of a prospective observational multicenter study.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Ospedale Civile, Piacenza, Italy.



Retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters offer the attractive possibility to be definitive or to be removed when they become unnecessary.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and the likelihood to remove the retrievable IVC filter ALN.


A total of 30 patients (13 males and 17 females, mean age 57 +/- 15 years) underwent placement of ALN filters. Indications for implantation were acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) with a contraindication to anticoagulation in 26 cases (86%), primary prophylaxis after major trauma in two cases (7%) or before surgery in two patients with very high thromboembolic risk (7%).


The filter was successfully placed in all patients. After a median follow-up of 18.2 months, there were three cases (10%) of trapped emboli within the filter, one case (3%) of asymptomatic migration of the filter toward the heart and two patients (7%) had deep vein thrombosis (DVT) recurrences. ALN retrieval was attempted through transjugular approach in 18 patients (60%) and the maneuver was successful in 14 of them (78%); when the decision of removal was taken more than 3 months after the implantation, the retrieval was possible only in four of eight patients (50%). The median implantation period was 123 days (range: 30-345).


The present study shows the efficacy of ALN filter; it also demonstrates the feasibility and safety of retrieval after a medium-term period of placement. Removal after 3 months after implantation can be unsuccessful and maximum implantation time requires further studies.

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