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Am J Med. 2011 Jul;124(7):655-61. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.02.021. Epub 2011 May 17.

Increasing use of vena cava filters for prevention of pulmonary embolism.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine and Research and Advanced Studies Program, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA. steinp@trinity-health.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To test whether the use of vena cava filters continues to increase in the era of retrievable filters, suggesting that indications for insertion are broadening.

METHODS:

Data from 1979 through 2006 are from the National Hospital Discharge Survey.

RESULTS:

From 1979 through 1984, 17,000 vena cava filters were inserted; 8000 in patients with pulmonary embolism, 4000 in patients with deep venous thrombosis only, and 5000 in patients at risk of pulmonary embolism who had neither. From 1985 through 2006, 803,000 vena cava filters were inserted: 285,000 in patients with pulmonary embolism, 360,000 in patients with deep venous thrombosis only, and 158,000 in patients who had neither. The largest proportional increases in the use of vena cava filters since the introduction of retrievable filters was in patients at risk of pulmonary embolism but who had neither pulmonary embolism nor deep venous thrombosis. The trend toward increased use in this group began before retrievable filters were introduced. There was a 3-fold increase from 2001-2006.

CONCLUSION:

Extensive use of permanent and retrievable vena cava filters in the US indicates liberalization of indications. It would seem that a more discriminate use of vena cava filters would be appropriate at the present time, keeping an open mind for broadened indications as data accrue.

PMID:
21592452
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.02.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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