Superior vena cava filters: Hindsight, insight and foresight

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Abstract

Upper Extremity Deep Venous Thromboses (UEDVT) are encountered with increasing frequency as the use of central lines and catheters increases. Previously disregarded as benign they are now established to contribute to Pulmonary Embolism (PE) and death. Superior vena cava filters (SVC filters) have been shown to be safe and efficacious for prevention of UEDVT in case anti-coagulation is contraindicated. Compared to Inferior Vena Cava Filters (IVC Filters), data are scarce however and long-term, randomized studies are lacking. SVC filter insertion presents unique indications, contraindications, complications and technical challenges different from their IVC counterparts.

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