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Ann Med. 2013 Nov;45(7):474-81. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2013.832951.

Clinical review: inferior vena cava filters in the age of patient-centered outcomes.

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Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara , Santa Clara, CA , USA.


Inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) use continues to increase in the United States (US) despite questionable clinical benefit and increasing concerns over long-term complications. For this review we comprehensively examine the randomized, prospective data on IVC filter efficacy, compare relative rates of IVCF placement in the US and Europe, compare commonly considered guidelines for IVCF indications, and the current data on IVCF complications. Searches of MEDLINE and Cochrane databases were conducted for randomized prospective IVCF studies. Only three randomized prospective studies for IVCFs were identified. Commonly cited IVCF guidelines were reviewed with attention to their evolution over time. No evidence has shown a survival benefit with IVCF use. Despite this, continued rising utilization, especially for primary prophylactic indications, is concerning, given increasing evidence of long-term filter-related complications. This is particularly noted in the US where IVCF placements for 2012 are projected to be 25 times that of an equivalent population in Europe (224,700 versus 9,070). Pending much-needed randomized controlled trials that also evaluate long-term safety, we support the more stringent American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) guidelines for IVCF placement indications and advocate a close, structured follow-up of retrievable IVCFs to improve filter retrieval rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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