Entrapment of a central venous catheter (CVC) guide wire in an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a rare, but reported complication during CVC placement. With the increasing use of vena cava filters (VCFs), this number will most likely continue to grow. The consequences of this complication can be serious, as continued traction upon the guide wire may result in filter dislodgement and migration, filter fracture, or injury to the IVC. We describe a case in which a J-tipped guide wire introduced through a left subclavian access without fluoroscopic guidance during CVC placement was entrapped at the apex of an IVC filter. We describe a technique that we used successfully in removing the entrapped wire through the left subclavian access site. We also present simple useful recommendations to prevent this complication. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE).