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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2010 Dec;21(12):1847-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Improving inferior vena cava filter retrieval rates: impact of a dedicated inferior vena cava filter clinic.

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Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.



To test the hypothesis that an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter clinic increases the retrieval rate of optional IVC filters.


Patients who had optional IVC filters placed at the authors' institution between January 2000 and December 2008 were identified and retrospectively studied. A dedicated IVC filter clinic was established at this institution in January 2009, and there is a comprehensive database of prospectively acquired data for patients seen in the IVC filter clinic. Patients were chronologically classified into preclinic and postclinic groups. The number of optional filters retrieved and failed retrieval attempts were recorded.


In the preclinic and postclinic periods, 369 and 100 optional IVC filters were placed. Median (interquartile range) number of optional filters placed per month for preclinic and postclinic periods was 3 (range 2-5) and 10 (range 6.5-10.5) (P < .001). Retrieval rates in preclinic and postclinic periods were 108 of 369 (29%) and 60 of 100 (60%) (P < .001). The median time to filter retrieval in the postclinic group was 1.5 months (95% confidence interval 1.2-1.8). The number of failed retrieval attempts in preclinic and postclinic periods was 23 of 369 (6%) and 5 of 100 (5%) (P = .823).


The retrieval rate of optional IVC filters at this institution was significantly increased by the establishment of a dedicated IVC filter clinic. This retrieval increase is not related to a decrease in technical failures but more likely relates to more meticulous patient management and clinical follow-up.

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