Retrievable inferior vena cava filters in patients with cancer are safe but are they beneficial?

Sameh Mikhail, Lindsay Hannan, Michael J. Pishvaian, Craig Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability and insertion of permanent and retrievable inferior vena cava filter devices have increased substantially over the past decade. Our retrospective study provides the first detailed assessment of the safety and efficacy of retrievable inferior vena cava filters in a large cohort of cancer patients with predominantly advanced malignancies. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of consecutive patients with the diagnosis of cancer who underwent inferior vena cava filter placement at a single academic medical center from 2007 to 2012 with special attention to safety, recurrent venous thromboembolism, and survival data. Three hundred thirty-seven cancer patients were included in the analysis. Gastrointestinal, lung, and genitourinary malignancies were the most commonly represented malignancies [94 (27.8 %), 70 (20.8 %), and 37 (10.9 %) patients, respectively]. Immediate complications were diagnosed in one of 258 (1 %) evaluable patients following placement of a retrievable filter. Delayed complications occurred in 23 of 258 (8 %) patients. The 7, 14, 30, 90, and 365 day post-filter survival rates for patients with stage IV cancer were 0.91, 0.86, 0.71, 0.52, and 0.29, respectively. Patients with lung and gastrointestinal tumors demonstrated a significantly reduced post-filter survival rate compared with those with genitourinary, brain, and breast cancers. Retrievable and non-retrievable inferior vena cava filters are associated with an overall low rate of complications in patients with cancer. However, survival rates following filter placement are poor in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Inferior vena cava filter
  • Retrievable
  • Survival
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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