Complications of inferior vena cava filters

Simer Grewal, Murthy R. Chamarthy, Sanjeeva P. Kalva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement is a relatively low risk alternative for prophylaxis against pulmonary embolism in patients with pelvic or lower extremity deep venous thrombosis who are not suitable for anticoagulation. There is an increasing trend in the number of IVC filter implantation procedures performed every year. There are many device types in the market and in the early 2000s, the introduction of retrievable filters brought an additional subset of complications to consider. Modern filter designs have led to decreased morbidity and mortality, however, a thorough understanding of the limitations and complications of IVC filters is necessary to weight the risks and benefits of placing IVC filters. In this review, the complications associated with IVC filters are divided into procedure related, post-procedure, and retrieval complications. Differences amongst the device types and retrievable filters are described, though this is limited by a significant lack of prospective studies. Additionally, the clinical presentation as well as prevention and treatment strategies are outlined with each complication type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-641
Number of pages10
JournalCardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016


  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Fracture; retrieval
  • Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter
  • Migration
  • Perforation
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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