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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2018 Apr;29(4):482-485. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2017.11.008. Epub 2018 Jan 3.

Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement and Retrieval Rates among Radiologists and Nonradiologists.

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Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 132 South 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Electronic address:
Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 132 South 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.



To evaluate inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement and retrieval rates among radiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, other surgeons, and all other health care providers for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries in the years 2012-2015.


The nationwide Medicare Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files were used to determine the volume and utilization rate of IVC filter placement, IVC filter repositioning, and IVC filter retrieval, which correspond to procedure codes 37191, 37192, and 37193, respectively. Procedural code 37193 was not available before 2012, so data were reviewed for the years 2012-2015.


The total volume of Medicare IVC filter placement decreased from 57,785 in 2012 to 44,378 in 2015, with radiologists responsible for 60% of all filter placements. Volume of IVC filter placement declined across all specialties, including radiologists, who placed 33,744 in 2012 and 27,957 in 2015. In contrast, total retrieval of IVC filters increased from 4,060 removals in 2012 to 6,166 in 2015. Retrieval rate per 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries increased from 11 in 2012 to 16 in 2015. Radiologists removed the bulk of the filters: 64% in both 2012 and 2015. Vascular surgeons, cardiologists, and other surgeons retrieved, respectively, 20%, 10%, and 5% of all IVC filters in 2012 and 22%, 9%, and 5% in 2015.


From 2012 to 2015, IVC filter placement steadily decreased across all specialties. Retrieval rate of IVC filters continued to rise over the same period. Radiologists were responsible for the majority of IVC filter placements and retrievals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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