Indications, management, and complications of temporary inferior vena cava filters
Purpose: We describe the results of a preliminary prospective study using different recently developed temporary and retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters.
Methods: Fifty temporary IVC filters (Günther, Günther Tulip, Anthéor) were inserted in 47 patients when the required period of protection against pulmonary embolism (PE) was estimated to be less than 2 weeks. The indications were documented deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and temporary contraindications for anticoagulation, a high risk for PE, and PE despite DVT prophylaxis.
Results: Filters were removed 1–12 days after placement and nine (18%) had captured thrombi. Complications were one PE during and after removal of a filter, two minor filter migrations, and one IVC thrombosis.
Conclusion: Temporary filters are effective in trapping clots and protecting against PE, and the complication rate does not exceed that of permanent filters. They are an alternative when protection from PE is required temporarily, and should be considered in patients with a normal life expectancy.
Key wordsPulmonary embolism Caval filter, temporary and retrievable
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