Purpose: To determine the incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after removal of retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. Materials and Methods: Retrospective study was conducted of 67 patients who underwent 72 consecutive filter retrievals at a single institution. Data collected included VTE status at the time of filter placement, anticoagulant medications at the time of filter retrieval and afterward, new or recurrent VTE after filter removal, and insertion of subsequent filters. Patient questionnaires were completed in 50 cases, chart review in all patients. Results: At the time of filter placement, 30 patients had documented VTE, 19 had a history of treated VTE, and 23 were at risk for but had neither previous nor present VTE. Mean duration of follow-up after filter removal was 20.6 months ± 10.9. A total of 52 patients (57 filters) received anticoagulation and/or antiplatelet medications after filter removal. There were two documented episodes of recurrent deep vein thrombosis (2.8% of filters removed), both in patients who had VTE at the time of filter placement and underwent therapeutic anticoagulation at the time of filter removal. One of these patients (1.4% of filters removed) also experienced pulmonary embolism. Of the 23 patients without VTE when the filter was placed, none developed VTE after filter removal. Four patients (5.5% of filters removed) required subsequent permanent filters, three for complications of anticoagulation, one for failure of anticoagulation. Conclusions: VTE was rare after removal of IVC filters, but was most likely to occur in patients who had VTE at the time of filter placement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine