Indications, retrieval rate, and complications of inferior vena cava filters: Single-center experience in Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Bin Shabib, Fahad Alsayed, Saad Aldughaythir, Hanan Habeeb, Sumayyah Al Tamimi, Emad Masuadi, Mohsen Alzahrani, Ali Alaklabi, Azzam Alotaibi, Rajkumar Rajendram, Mosaad Almegren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is indicated in patients with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) in whom therapeutic anticoagulation is contraindicated. While prophylactic insertion of an IVC filter may be considered for patients at high risk of VTE, there are significant differences between clinical guidelines on the role of IVC filters. These discrepancies have arisen predominantly because of the paucity of data on the efficacy and safety of IVC filters. We, therefore, evaluated the indications for filter insertion, the rate of filter retrieval and complications in patients who received IVC filters at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. METHODS: A descriptive, retrospective review of electronic- and paper-based medical records was performed. Consecutive sampling was used to study all adult patients who received an IVC filter at KAMC between 2007 and 2016 and met the inclusion criteria. RESULTS: A total of 382 IVC filters were inserted. 113 patients (30%) had an acute VTE and a contraindication to anticoagulation while 53 patients (14%) received an IVC filter in the absence of VTE (i.e., prophylactic). Only 124 (32.5%) IVC filters were eventually retrieved. The most common reason for nonretrieval was the need for permanent filtration (155, 60%). Thrombotic complications developed in 72 (19%) patients; nine patients had fatal pulmonary embolism. CONCLUSION: The insertion of IVC filters in this cohort was associated with low retrieval rate and relatively high incidence of thrombotic complications. Follow-up of patients is required to detect IVC filter-related complications and to increase retrieval rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • inferior vena cava filter
  • pulmonary embolism
  • retrievable filters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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