Contemporary management of chronic indwelling inferior vena cava filters

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord


OBJECTIVE: Despite increasing retrieval rates of the inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, less than one-third are removed within the recommended timeline. Prolonged filter dwell times may increase the technical difficulty of retrieval and filter-related complications. We sought to evaluate the contemporary outcomes of patients with chronic indwelling IVC filters at a tertiary care center.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed from August 2015 through August 2019 of all patients who were referred for removal of a prolonged IVC filter with a dwell time >1 year. Descriptive analysis was used to evaluate patients' characteristics and procedural outcomes, which were reviewed through electronic medical records. Data were expressed as median with interquartile range (IQR) or number and percentage, as appropriate.

RESULTS: A total of 47 patients were identified with a median filter dwell time of 10.0 years (IQR, 6-13 years); 34 patients underwent IVC filter removal, and 13 patients refused retrieval. The median age of patients was 54.9 years (IQR, 42.5-64.0 years); the majority were female (57%) and white (53%). The most common indication for filter placement was high risk despite anticoagulation (49%), followed by venous thromboembolism prophylaxis (21%). The majority of patients were symptomatic (72%). If symptomatic, the most common reason for retrieval was IVC penetration (94%), and the chief complaint was pain (56%). Retrieval success was 97%, with a median length of stay of 0 days. The majority of retrievals were performed through an endovascular approach (97%). There was one postprocedural complication (3%).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite prolonged dwell times, IVC filter retrieval can be performed safely and effectively in carefully selected patients at a tertiary referral center.

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page