Penetration of Bone by Inferior Vena Cava Filters: Safety and Technical Success of Percutaneous Retrieval

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The technical success and safety of percutaneous inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) retrieval when filter elements are penetrating into adjacent bony structures is unknown. Therefore, our purpose was to evaluate the technical success and safety of IVCF retrieval when filter elements are penetrating into adjacent bone. Materials and methods: Using percutaneous IVCF retrievals from 2008 to 2018 in adult patients, we conducted a multi-institutional, retrospective review of filters found to penetrate lumbar vertebrae by computed tomography scans. Technical success following the retrieval procedure was recorded. Patient records were assessed for complications from retrieval. Results: 13 patients (2 males; 11 females; mean age: 53.2 years (range: 22-71) were included. Hundred percent of the filters were optional (retrievable) filters. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) with a contraindication to anticoagulation (n = 7; 53.8%) and prophylaxis without venous thromboembolism (n = 3; 23.1%) were the 2 most common indications for IVCF placement. Two filters (15.4%) had >15° of tilt relative to the IVC prior to retrieval while no IVCFs had migrated or caused caval thrombosis. One filter (7.7%) was found to have a fractured strut prior to retrieval. Ten patients (76.9%) were either on anticoagulants or antiplatelet medications at the time of retrieval. No patients were on antibiotics and no patients received periprocedural antibiotics. Median dwell time was 116.5 days (range: 49-5395). All 13 IVCFs were successfully retrieved in a single session (technical success: 100%). Standard snare technique was used in 8 cases (61.5%), endobronchial forces were used in 3 cases (23.1%), and wire loop snare technique was used in 2 cases (15.4%). There were no complications in any patient. Percutaneous retrieval of IVCFs with elements that have penetrated into adjacent vertebrae is both safe and technically feasible.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McCafferty BJ; Joe WB; Meh Chu G; Devane AM; Madassery S; Gunn AJ
  • Start Page

  • 662
  • End Page

  • 664
  • Volume

  • 50
  • Issue

  • 5