An expert spotlight on inferior vena cava filters

Anil Pillai, Manoj Kathuria, Maria del Pilar Bayona Molano, Patrick Sutphin, Sanjeeva P. Kalva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are mechanical filtration devices designed as an alternative to surgical ligation/plication of the IVC. Their use has been controversial, especially with the introduction of retrievable filters and expanded/prophylactic indications. Areas covered: Authors discuss the types of available IVC filters, indications for placement, evidence on their effectiveness in general and specific patient populations, procedural considerations, off-label use, complications, and filter retrieval. This review is based on manuscripts/abstracts published from 1960 to 2021 on venous thromboembolism and IVC filters. Expert opinion: Despite the limited data on their effectiveness and survival benefit, IVC filters continue to play an important role in the treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) who cannot receive standard anticoagulation. There is no role of IVC filters in patients without VTE. While retrievable filters are desirable for short-term use, a dedicated team-based approach, and advanced training are required for their successful removal. Newer devices are promising in improving patient safety. The device manufacturers and regulatory agencies should consider specific approaches to track device-related adverse events. Population-based studies are required to establish optimal patient population who would benefit from these devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-605
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Hematology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021


  • Venous thromboembolism
  • deep venous thrombosis
  • inferior vena cava filters
  • pulmonary embolism
  • retrievable filters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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