Dedicated tracking of patients with retrievable inferior vena cava filters improves retrieval rates

Donald J. Lucas, James R. Dunne, Carlos J. Rodriguez, Kathleen M. Curry, Eric Elster, Diego Vicente, Debra L. Malone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Retrievable IVC filters (R-IVCF) are associated with multiple complications, including filter migration and deep venous thrombosis. Unfortunately, most series of R-IVCF show low retrieval rates, often due to loss to follow-up. This study demonstrates that actively tracking R-IVCF improves retrieval. Trauma patients at one institution with R-IVCF placed between January 2007 and January 2011 were tracked in a registry with a goal of retrieval. These were compared to a control group who had R-IVCF placed previously (December 2005 to December 2006). Outcome measures include filter retrieval, retrieval attempts, loss to follow-up, and time to filter retrieval. We compared 93 tracked patients with R-IVCF with 20 controls. The baseline characteristics of the groups were similar. Tracked patients had significantly higher rates of filter retrieval (60% vs 30%, P = 0.02) and filter retrieval attempts (70% vs 30%, P = 0.002) and were significantly less likely to be lost to follow-up (5% vs 65%, P < 0.0001). Time to retrieval attempt was 84 days in the registry versus 210 days in the control group, which trended towards significance (P = 0.23). Tracking patients with R-IVCF leads to improved retrieval rates, more retrieval attempts, and decreased loss to follow up. Institutions should consider tracking R-IVCF to maximize retrieval rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-874
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Dedicated tracking of patients with retrievable inferior vena cava filters improves retrieval rates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this