Results of a multicenter study of the retrievable Tulip vena cava filter: Early clinical experience
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To evaluate clinically a new, retrievable vena caval filter in a multicenter study.
The Tulip filter is a stainless steel half-basket that is suitable for antegrade or retrograde insertion via an 8.5 Fr introducer sheath. The filter can be retrieved via the jugular approach using an 11 Fr coaxial retrieval system. Forty-eight filters were implanted via the femoral approach and 38 via the jugular approach in 83 patients. Follow-up examinations (plain films, colorcoded duplex sonography) were performed up to 3 years after filter insertion (mean 136 days) in 75 patients. Twenty-seven patients were screened by colorcoded duplex sonography for insertion site thrombosis.
An appropriate filter position was achieved in all cases. Insertion problems occurred in 3 cases; these were not due to the filter design but to an imperfect prototype insertion mechanism that has now been modified (n=2) or a manipulation error (n=1). In 2 of these cases the filters were replaced percutaneously; 1 patient required venotomy for filter removal. No further complications due to filter insertion occurred. Two filters were used as temporary devices and were successfully removed after 6 and 11 days, respectively. There was 1 fatal recurrent pulmonary embolism (PE) and 2 non-fatal PE, 5 complete and 3 partial caval occlusions, and 3 caudal migrations of the filter. Insertion site venous thrombosis was not seen in the 27 patients monitored for this complication.
Precise placement of the Tulip filter is feasible by either access route and the device appears mechanically stable. Further observations are needed to confirm that safe filter removal is practical up to 10 days after its insertion.
Key wordsEmbolism, pulmonary Vena cava, filters Thrombosis Filter retrieval
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