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Semin Intervent Radiol. 2016 Jun;33(2):93-100. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1583208.

Evidence-Based Evaluation of Inferior Vena Cava Filter Complications Based on Filter Type.

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Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California.


Many inferior vena cava (IVC) filter types, along with their specific risks and complications, are not recognized. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the various FDA-approved IVC filter types to determine device-specific risks, as a way to help identify patients who may benefit from ongoing follow-up versus prompt filter retrieval. An evidence-based electronic search (FDA Premarket Notification, MEDLINE, FDA MAUDE) was performed to identify all IVC filter types and device-specific complications from 1980 to 2014. Twenty-three IVC filter types (14 retrievable, 9 permanent) were identified. The devices were categorized as follows: conical (n = 14), conical with umbrella (n = 1), conical with cylindrical element (n = 2), biconical with cylindrical element (n = 2), helical (n = 1), spiral (n = 1), and complex (n = 1). Purely conical filters were associated with the highest reported risks of penetration (90-100%). Filters with cylindrical or umbrella elements were associated with the highest reported risk of IVC thrombosis (30-50%). Conical Bard filters were associated with the highest reported risks of fracture (40%). The various FDA-approved IVC filter types were evaluated for device-specific complications based on best current evidence. This information can be used to guide and optimize clinical management in patients with indwelling IVC filters.


IVC filters; interventional radiology; nonthrombotic complications

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