Clinical practice and volume trends of inferior vena cava filter usage at a single tertiary care center during a 19-year period

Academic Article


  • Background: We investigated the clinical practice and volume trends of inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) usage at a single institution for an extended period and identified the potential factors affecting the clinical decision for placement, follow-up, and retrieval. Methods: An institutional database was queried for IVCFs placed from 2000 to 2018 using the Current Procedural Terminology codes. The medical records were reviewed to evaluate the demographics, economic status, placement indication, IVCF type, follow-up evaluation for retrieval, and retrieval success rates. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS, and t tests for continuous and χ2 for categorical variables. Results: A total of 3915 IVCFs were placed from 2000 to 2018. The placement of IVCFs had increased steadily from 2000 (127 IVCFs/y), peaking in 2010 at 371 IVCFs/y and representing a 292% increase in IVCF usage. Since 2010, the number of IVCFs placed has steadily declined until 2016 to 2018, with a 426% decrease from the peak. In a subgroup of IVCFs placed for prophylaxis, the total volume trends paralleled a shift in clinical indications, peaking in 2010 and accounting for 45% of all IVCFs placed and then decreasing from 2013 to 2018 to ≤10%. Overall, 989 permanent IVCFs (25.3%) and 2926 retrievable IVCFs (74.7%) were placed during the entire study period. Before dedicated efforts to implement retrieval follow-up visits, the successful retrieval rate was ∼1% from 2000 to 2006 and had increased to ∼10% to 15% from 2007 to 2015, 36.7% in 2016, 40.2% in 2017, and 40.3% in 2018 after implementation of more active retrieval follow-up protocols. The predictors for the lack of evaluation for IVCF retrieval included an extended length of stay (P = .004) and geographic distance (P < .001). Conclusions: The use of IVCFs during the past 19 years at our institution reflected increased usage from 2000 to 2010, corresponding to an increase in prophylactic placement, followed by a decreasing total volume from 2011 to 2018, largely attributable to decreased prophylactic IVCF placement. Improved retrieval rates were seen after implementation of an active IVCF retrieval program.
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    Author List

  • Axley JC; May MM; Novak Z; Aucoin VJ; Spangler EL; McFarland GE; Sutzko DC; Pearce BJ; Patterson MA; Beck AW