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Inferior vena cava filters (IVCFs) are often placed for prophylactic indications. We sought to better define the range of practice indications for placement of prophylactic IVCFs, as well as the specific retrieval rate and risk factors for nonretrieval.A retrospective, single-institution review of patients undergoing IVCF placement over a 2-year period was performed. Patients undergoing prophylactic IVCF placement were selected from a prospectively collected database. Risk factors for nonretrieval were identified using a multivariate logistic regression model.Of 615 IVCFs placed, 256 were retrievable filters placed for prophylactic indications and comprised the study cohort. The most common indications were a history of venous thromboembolic disease (43.7%), malignancy (35.1%), bleeding risk precluding anticoagulation (33.9%), and trauma (22.6%). One hundred sixty-three (63.6%) were placed preoperatively. Placement was performed in 70.3% by interventional radiology, 21.4% by vascular surgery, and 8.2% by cardiology. The most common requesting services were orthopedics (67%), general surgery (11%), neurosurgery (9%), and bariatric surgery (7%). Of all, 67.6% were placed in the inpatient setting and 32.4% in outpatients. Seventy-one (27.7%) of the 256 prophylactic filters were retrieved, with a mean indwelling time of 92 ± 74 days. Inpatients were significantly less likely to have their IVCF removed (32.4% vs 57.8%; P < .001), as were preoperative patients.This study helps define current practice trends for the placement of prophylactic IVCFs. Importantly, the specific retrieval rate for prophylactic filters is low. This suggests that prophylactic IVCF usage is suboptimal and efforts should be taken to increase retrieval, especially among inpatients and perioperative patients.