Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of aggressive techniques for retrieving adherent and chronically implanted inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. Materials and Methods: A single-center retrospective review was performed on all patients who underwent attempted filter retrieval from October 2007 through October 2008. Patients were included in the study if they had an adherent filter, refractory to standard retrieval techniques, and underwent high-risk retrieval after procedural risks were deemed lower than risks of long-term filter implantation. Results: Fourteen patients were diagnosed with an adherent filter, 13 (93%) of whom were candidates for high-risk retrieval. These patients included seven men and six women (mean age, 40 years; age range, 18-71 years). Nine of the 13 patients (69%) were referred from an outside hospital. Filter retrieval was performed for the following indications: to avoid the risk of long-term thrombotic complications in a young patient (n= 6), to treat symptomatic filter-related IVC stenosis (n= 5), to treat symptomatic filter penetration (n= 1), and to avoid the need for lifelong anticoagulation (n= 1). There were eight Günther-Tulip filters (mean dwell time, 356 days; range 53-1,181 days), two Optease filters (mean dwell time, 62 days; range, 52-72 days), one G2 filter (dwell time, 420 days), and two Recovery filters (mean dwell time, 1,630 days; range, 1,429-1,830 days). Three IVC occlusions necessitated recanalization to facilitate retrieval. High-risk retrieval with use of various techniques with aggressive force was successful in all 13 patients (100%). Partial caval thrombosis occurred in the first four patients (31%) but did not occur after procedural modifications were implemented. There were no complications at clinical follow-up (mean, 221 days; range, 84-452 days). Conclusions: Alternative techniques can be used to retrieve adherent IVC filters implanted for up to 3-5 years. Although caval thrombosis was an observed complication, protocol modifications appeared to reduce this risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine