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Patients with IVC Filters Examined for Thrombosis

Mar 13, 2016

A recent study published in JACC (Journal of American College of Cardiology) Cardiovascular Interventions reveals that unretrieved inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are often the cause of blood clots.

"Due to the substantial increase in the number of IVC filters placed in the United States and the very low filter retrieval rates, clinicians are faced with a very large population of patients at risk for developing IVC thrombosis," state the authors of the study. Going forward, the published report aims to increase the awareness of this condition and offer a "comprehensive review of diagnostic approaches and treatments in patients with IVC thrombosis."

The IVC has been used since the 1960s and has proven to be an alternative only for those patients for whom anticoagulants or blood thinners are not an option, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There are, however, complications associated with IVC filters including filter migration, clotting, breakage of parts of the filter, which can lead to severe pain, bleeding and possible life-threatening complications, PubMed reports. There is a risk that broken-off parts of an IVC filter can enter the inferior vena cava, the aorta, or the duodenum (the part of the small intestine closest to the stomach).

Safety concerns were cited when C.R. Bard's Recovery Filter (version G2) was connected to more than two dozen deaths and hundreds of injuries. At the time, NBC News reported that Bard was aware about reports of G2 filter failures after having received FDA approval. There was no recall, and the filters continued to be available until 2010.

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