Use of Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filters (bsh 2006)

Potential Indications


To prevent PE in patients with VTE who have a contraindication to anticoagulation (AC)

Selected patients who develop PE despite AC (Alt preferred, e.g. Higher INR target)


Pregnant patients with a contraindication to AC

Pregnant patients with a VTE <2 weeks prior to delivery


Pre-op patients with VTE <1 month ago in whom AC must be stopped

Prior to pulmonary endartectomy


Not an indication


Unselected patients with VTE who can have AC

Free floating thrombus





The only purpose is to prevent PE, & actually increases risk of DVT.




Immediate:      Misplacement, pneumothorax, haematoma, air embolus, arteriovenous fistula

Early:              Insertion site thrombus (8.5%), infection

Late:                DVT (21%), IVC thrombus (2-10%), post-thrombotic syndrome, filter migration