Caval pseudoaneurysms following complex inferior vena cava filter removal: Clinical significance and patient outcomes

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OBJECTIVES: To investigate the incidence and clinical significance of caval pseudoaneurysm and extravasation post-complex inferior vena cava filter retrieval.

METHODS: A total of 83 patients (70% female, average age 56) underwent complex inferior vena cava filter retrieval between January 2015 and December 2019 utilizing either rigid endobronchial forceps (n = 69, 83%) and/or excimer laser (n = 20, 24%). Procedural variables were recorded. The incidence and size of caval pseudoaneurysms and extravasation along with treatment type and clinical outcomes were analyzed.

RESULTS: Technical success in all cases was 96% (n = 80). Average fluoroscopy time was 23 min (median: 20.2, range: 0.9-129.5). Average filter dwell time was 85 months (range: 2-316 months). Caval pseudoaneurysm was detected on post-retrieval venography in 10 patients (12%) and frank extravasation occurred in 1 case (1%). Average pseudoaneurysm length and width was 20.4 mm (range: 5-45 mm) and 12.9 mm (range: 4-24 mm), respectively. Pseudoaneurysms occurred most frequently during the removal of Optease (n = 5) and Celect (n = 2) filters. The pseudoaneurysms completely resolved with prolonged (>5 min) balloon angioplasty in all but one instance where a small portion of the pseudoaneurysm persisted. This patient was admitted and observed overnight before being discharged without complication. The solitary case of significant extravasation was effectively managed with immediate stent placement and the patient remained hemodynamically stable.

CONCLUSIONS: Radiographically detectable caval pseudoaneurysm and extravasation is not uncommon in complex inferior vena cava filter retrieval and, despite being considered a major complication by Society of Interventional Radiology guidelines, can often be managed without stenting or other invasive treatment.

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