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Commentary |

Temporary Inferior Vena Cava Filters: How Do We Move Forward?

Edward J. Arous, MD; Louis M. Messina, MD
Author and Funding Information

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Louis M. Messina, MD, Diabetes Center of Excellence and Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave N, Worcester, MA 01655


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(5):1143-1145. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.03.015
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Despite their widespread use, the indications for the selective use of temporary inferior vena cava (IVC) filters remains uncertain with few trials supporting their use. Additionally, the risks of long-term temporary IVC filter insertion are being increasingly discussed amongst the mainstream media and through multiple class action lawsuits. Retrievable IVC filters were specifically designed to have a less secure implantation in order to facilitate retrieval. However, multiple reports have demonstrated significant filter-related complications, most commonly related to duration of implantation. Furthermore, the risk is not isolated to one manufacturer alone. The incidence of filter-related complications is linearly related to its duration of time on the market. Currently, the FDA recommends that IVC filters be removed within 25-54 days of their implantation. Unfortunately, little evidence exists to show that this recommendation is followed routinely. Recently, the PRESERVE Trial (NCT02381509) was initiated as a multicenter non-randomized open label study to determine the safety and effectiveness of commercially available IVC filters (both temporary and permanent) in individuals who require mechanical prophylaxis against pulmonary embolism. Until such evidence is developed, temporary IVC filters should be implanted based on best available evidence and routinely removed within the guidelines of the FDA of 25-54 days. A fair question at this point is whether the design features themselves that are required to manufacture a low profile removable IVC filter can achieve effective prophylaxis against pulmonary embolism at a low rate of short and long-term complications.


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