Inferior Vena Cava Filter Elucidation: How to Identify Specific Inferior Vena Cava Filter Types on Multi–Detector-Row Computed Tomography Imaging

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The use of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters in the United States has increased substantially over the last 3 decades. In addition, the number of Food and Drug Administration–approved devices has also increased during this time, and there are now more than 24 different IVC filter types that may be encountered in clinical practice. These devices vary substantially with regard to design, retrievability, and risk of potential complications that include fracture, penetration, embolization, migration, recurrent venous thromboembolism, and chronic IVC occlusion. A myriad of devices are now routinely encountered on multi–detector-row computed tomography imaging, but it can be challenging to properly identify a specific IVC filter type. Proper device identification has important clinical consequences because each filter type has associated risks that may otherwise be overlooked. Identifying the specific filter type may allow further radiographic surveillance for known device-specific complications and may identify patients who can benefit from further medical treatment or prompt filter retrieval. Therefore, our purpose was to present a practical method to identify the various IVC filter types that may be encountered on multi–detector-row computed tomography imaging.

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