Evidence-Based Evaluation of Inferior Vena Cava Filter Complications Based on Filter Type

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Abstract

Many inferior vena cava (IVC) filter types, along with their specific risks and complications, are not recognized. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the various FDA-approved IVC filter types to determine device-specific risks, as a way to help identify patients who may benefit from ongoing follow-up versus prompt filter retrieval. An evidence-based electronic search (FDA Premarket Notification, MEDLINE, FDA MAUDE) was performed to identify all IVC filter types and device-specific complications from 1980 to 2014. Twenty-three IVC filter types (14 retrievable, 9 permanent) were identified. The devices were categorized as follows: conical (n = 14), conical with umbrella (n = 1), conical with cylindrical element (n = 2), biconical with cylindrical element (n = 2), helical (n = 1), spiral (n = 1), and complex (n = 1). Purely conical filters were associated with the highest reported risks of penetration (90–100%). Filters with cylindrical or umbrella elements were associated with the highest reported risk of IVC thrombosis (30–50%). Conical Bard filters were associated with the highest reported risks of fracture (40%). The various FDA-approved IVC filter types were evaluated for device-specific complications based on best current evidence. This information can be used to guide and optimize clinical management in patients with indwelling IVC filters.

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