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1.  Management of Bilateral Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens in a Patient with Subacute Splenic Laceration 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2008;1(1):45-48.
Phlegmasia cerulea dolens (PCD) is a rare but limb-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis. We report a case of a 76-year-old man with recent splenic trauma and inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement, who developed bilateral lower extremity PCD. Utilizing an endoluminal approach, the patient underwent mechanical thrombectomy and thrombolysis through bilateral infusion catheters placed antegrade from bothpopliteal veins. Clot lysis and return of palpable pedal pulses occurred within 24 hours. We demonstrate that the endoluminal management of this disease may be cautiously applied to the trauma patient, and that the judicious use of thrombolytic therapy can be beneficial even in the patient with a high potential for hemorrhage.
PMCID: PMC3610218  PMID: 23555338
phlegmasia; dolens; thrombolysis
2.  Successful treatment of posttraumatic phlegmasia cerulea dolens by reconstructing the external iliac vein: a case report 
Phlegmasia cerulea dolens is a rare condition caused by complete venous occlusion leading to impaired arterial flow. To prevent progression to limb gangrene, prompt diagnosis and treatment initiation are paramount. Here we report a rare case of posttraumatic phlegmasia cerulea dolens after ligation of the iliac vein to save the patient's life, with successful treatment by reconstructing the external iliac vein. This is the first report of posttraumatic phlegmasia cerulea dolens induced by iliac vein ligation.
Case presentation
A 49-year-old Chinese man was admitted to a local hospital for severe knife trauma with massive intraperitoneal bleeding. During exploratory laparotomy, he was diagnosed with traumatic rupture of his left external iliac vein without injury to the iliac artery. The proximal and distal parts of his injured external iliac vein were ligated to control the bleeding and rescue him, but his left leg quickly became severe swollen, cyanotic and pulseless. He was diagnosed with posttraumatic phlegmasia cerulea dolens after being transferred to our university hospital. After a retrievable filter was placed in his inferior vena cava via his right femoral vein, he underwent reopening of his abdomen followed by successful surgical reconstruction of his left iliac vein. He was treated with anticoagulation therapy postoperatively and his signs and symptoms improved markedly. He was discharged in a stable condition, with nearly full resolution of symptoms, 35 days after the operation.
Our case demonstrates that ligation of an injured iliac vein may induce phlegmasia cerulea dolens in a posttraumatic scenario; prompt reconstruction of the iliac vein to restore the venous drainage is an effective treatment for phlegmasia cerulea dolens with impending gangrene.
PMCID: PMC4048049  PMID: 24885801
Phlegmasia cerulea dolens; Posttraumatic; Reconstruction; Trauma; Iliac vein
3.  Advanced testicular cancer presenting with phlegmasia cerulea dolens 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2000;76(894):234-236.
A case of fulminating deep venous thrombosis secondary to invasion of the inferior vena cava is described in a 45 year old man presenting with a germ cell tumour. Despite aggressive supportive care and emergency chemotherapy his late presentation caused his death. The case highlights the necessity for increased public education of the attendant risks in delayed presentation with a testicular lump.

Keywords: phlegmasia cerulea dolens; testicular carcinoma
PMCID: PMC1741557  PMID: 10727571
4.  Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: What Should We Know 
Phlegmasia cerulea dolens (PCD) is one of the most critical disorders of acute deep vein thrombosis in that it can cause permanent disability secondary to the compartment syndrome. Although several etiological factors have been proposed, PCD after coronary artery bypass surgery is extremely rare and its definitive pathophysiology is still under debate. We herein present a case of PCD that resulted in the compartment syndrome after coronary artery bypass surgery. Early recognition and decompression of PCD are crucial for saving the affected limbs.
PMCID: PMC3928263  PMID: 24570866
Coronary artery bypass surgery; Complication; Compartment syndromes; Necrotizing fasciitis
5.  Phlegmasia caerulea dolens secondary to pelvic plasmacytoma and left femoral deep vein thrombosis☆ 
Phlegmasia caerulea dolens (PCD) is a clinical syndrome caused by venous obstruction leading to peripheral limb ischaemia. It can ultimately lead to venous gangrene, amputation or death in 25% of cases.
A 52-year-old man with a background of myeloma developed PCD secondary to an obstructing plasmacytoma and left femoral vein deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These were treated with combined radiotherapy and anticoagulation, with resolution of the patient's symptoms. His recovery was complicated by the development of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and cutaneous vasculitis.
Both plasmacytoma and DVT are recognised complications of myeloma. This is, to our knowledge, the first description of these phenomena in combination causing PCD. The combination of venous stasis from the obstructing plasmacytoma and hypercoagulability from the underlying myeloma may have contributed to clot formation. A multifaceted treatment approach was required which aimed at improving venous flow via radiotherapy to the plasmacytoma and dissolving the obstructing clot with anticoagulant therapy.
PCD has a high mortality and morbidity. Recognition is important to avoid an incorrect diagnosis of arterial occlusion and inappropriate surgical intervention. Treatment must be focused on removing the offending causes.
PMCID: PMC3785849  PMID: 23959409
Phlegmasia caerulea dolens; Deep vein thrombosis; Myeloma
6.  Thermoregulatory catheter–associated inferior vena cava thrombus 
The use of thermoregulatory catheters (TRCs) in critically ill patients has become increasingly popular. TRCs have been shown to be effective in regulating patient body temperature with improved outcomes. Critically ill patients, especially multitrauma patients and those with femoral catheters, are at high risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Among patients for whom chemical DVT prophylaxis is not an option, inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are often placed prophylactically. The development of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) has allowed placement of IVC filters at the bedside for patients who are too ill for transport to the operating room or cardiac catheterization lab. After encountering several patients with occult DVT of the IVC during bedside IVC filter placement, we performed a retrospective review to determine the incidence of DVT or pulmonary embolus (PE) in patients who had been treated with a TRC at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Since 2008, IVC filters have been deployed at the bedside with the use of IVUS at Baylor University Medical Center. During that same time period, 83 patients had a TRC placed for either intravascular warming or cooling during their resuscitation. Forty-seven out of 83 patients who had a TRC placed survived their injuries. Ten of 47 patients (21%) were diagnosed with DVT or PE, and 6 of these 10 (60%) were found to have caval thrombus. We present this case series as evidence that undiagnosed IVC thrombus associated with TRCs may be higher than previously suspected, given that 5 out of 10 patients who had IVUS of their IVC for prophylactic IVC filter placement, as well as one patient diagnosed with PE, were found to have caval thrombus.
PMCID: PMC3603720  PMID: 23543961
7.  Successful Catheter-Directed Venous Thrombolysis in an Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient with Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens 
Iranian Journal of Radiology  2013;10(2):81-85.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory rheumatic disease. Phlegmasia cerulea dolens is a severe form of deep vein thrombosis characterized by swelling, pain, and bluish discoloration. Treatment delay may cause venous gangrene, tissue ischemia, limb loss or death. Here, we present an AS case who presented with phlegmasia cerulea dolens and treated by catheter-directed thrombolysis.
PMCID: PMC3767019  PMID: 24046784
Spondylitis, Ankylosing; Thrombosis; Treatment; Venous
8.  Transcatheter thrombolytic therapy for symptomatic thrombo-occlusion of inferior vena cava filter 
Thrombus within an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter reduces filter patency and venous return from the lower extremities, and may progress to complete IVC occlusion. The clinical experiences and outcomes of transcatheter thrombolytic therapy for symptomatic IVC thrombosis following filter implantation have not been widely reported. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the efficiency and safety of trans-catheter thrombolysis for the treatment of symptomatic IVC thrombosis in patients with implanted IVC filters. Transcatheter thrombolysis was used to treat 5 patients with thrombosis of the filter-bearing IVC causing symptoms in 10 limbs from October 2005 to September 2010. The patients were implanted with a second IVC filter through the right internal jugular vein, followed by recanalization of the occluded IVC and intravenous transcatheter thrombolysis. The IVC filters were retrieved through the femoral or right internal jugular vein after the thrombus had dissolved. Technical and clinical outcome, complications and postoperative pulmonary embolism were monitored. A total of 5 filters were implanted and 6 filters were retrieved later. Technically and clinically successful recanalization and thrombolysis were achieved in 5 of 5 patients and 10 of 10 symptomatic limbs. The median thrombolysis period was 13 days (range, 8–14 days). The median dwell time for the filters that were removed was 50.5 days (range, 14–73 days). No major bleeding occurred during the current study. During clinical follow-up, no clinically detectable pulmonary embolism was observed. Endovascular recanalization and transcatheter thrombolysis of IVC thrombosis are efficient, feasible and safe in the presence of an IVC filter.
PMCID: PMC3570124  PMID: 23403505
thrombosis; filter; inferior vena cava; thrombolysis; efficiency
9.  IVC Filters May Prevent Fatal Pulmonary Embolism in Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery 
To determine whether inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement protects patients with musculoskeletal tumors from fatal pulmonary embolisms (PE), we retrospectively analyzed the records of 81 patients who underwent surgery for pelvic and lower extremity malignancies. All 81 patients received an IVC filter and mechanical compression for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis, but no pharmacologic anticoagulation. Duplex imaging was performed before hospital discharge and when clinical suspicion of DVT arose. Seventy-six of the 81 (94%) patients were followed at least 3 months (mean, 21.3 months; range, 3–77 months) postoperatively. We reviewed the perioperative medical records and office visit notes to determine the rate of clinically evident DVT, symptomatic PE, wound complications, and IVC filter-related complications. DVT and PE incidences in the early postoperative period (< 30 days) were 21% (17 of 81) and 2% (two of 81), respectively. There were no known deaths from PE. Patients undergoing reconstruction surgery (n = 41) were more likely to have early DVT develop after definitive tumor surgery. Patient age, tumor type or histology, anatomic location, presence of pathologic fracture, or development of wound complications did not correlate with an increased DVT rate. Two (3%) patients had late DVT, and none had a late PE. Combining an IVC filter with mechanical limb compression prevented fatal PE in patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery for malignancies of the pelvis and lower extremity and is a reasonable form of thromboembolic prophylaxis specific for this patient population.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC2601013  PMID: 18989730
10.  An Economic Evaluation of Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Strategies in Critically Ill Trauma Patients at Risk of Bleeding 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(6):e1000098.
Using decision analysis, Henry Stelfox and colleagues estimate the cost-effectiveness of three venous thromboembolism prophylaxis strategies in patients with severe traumatic injuries who were also at risk for bleeding complications.
Critically ill trauma patients with severe injuries are at high risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) and bleeding simultaneously. Currently, the optimal VTE prophylaxis strategy is unknown for trauma patients with a contraindication to pharmacological prophylaxis because of a risk of bleeding.
Methods and Findings
Using decision analysis, we estimated the cost effectiveness of three VTE prophylaxis strategies—pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) and expectant management alone, serial Doppler ultrasound (SDU) screening, and prophylactic insertion of a vena cava filter (VCF)—in trauma patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with severe injuries who were believed to have a contraindication to pharmacological prophylaxis for up to two weeks because of a risk of major bleeding. Data on the probability of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), and on the effectiveness of the prophylactic strategies, were taken from observational and randomized controlled studies. The probabilities of in-hospital death, ICU and hospital discharge rates, and resource use were taken from a population-based cohort of trauma patients with severe injuries (injury severity scores >12) admitted to the ICU of a regional trauma centre. The incidence of DVT at 12 weeks was similar for the PCD (14.9%) and SDU (15.0%) strategies, but higher for the VCF (25.7%) strategy. Conversely, the incidence of PE at 12 weeks was highest in the PCD strategy (2.9%), followed by the SDU (1.5%) and VCF (0.3%) strategies. Expected mortality and quality-adjusted life years were nearly identical for all three management strategies. Expected health care costs at 12 weeks were Can$55,831 for the PCD strategy, Can$55,334 for the SDU screening strategy, and Can$57,377 for the VCF strategy, with similar trends noted over a lifetime analysis.
The attributable mortality due to PE in trauma patients with severe injuries is low relative to other causes of mortality. Prophylactic placement of VCF in patients at high risk of VTE who cannot receive pharmacological prophylaxis is expensive and associated with an increased risk of DVT. Compared to the other strategies, SDU screening was associated with better clinical outcomes and lower costs.
Please see later in the article for Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
For patients who have been seriously injured in an accident or a violent attack (trauma patients), venous thromboembolism (VTE)—the formation of blood clots that limit the flow of blood through the veins—is a frequent and potentially fatal complication. The commonest form of VTE is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). “Distal” DVTs (clots that form in deep veins below the knee) affect about half of patients with severe trauma; “proximal” DVTs (clots that form above the knee) develop in one in five trauma patients. DVTs cause pain and swelling in the affected leg and can leave patients with a painful condition called post-thrombotic syndrome. Worse still, part of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs where it can cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE). Distal DVTs rarely embolize but, if untreated, half of patients who present with a proximal DVT will develop a PE, and 2%–3% of them will die as a result.
Why Was This Study Done?
VTE is usually prevented by using heparin, a drug that stops blood clotting, but clinicians treating critically ill trauma patients have a dilemma. Many of these patients are at high risk of serious bleeding complications so cannot be given heparin to prevent VTE. Nonpharmacological ways to prevent VTE include the use of pneumatic compression devices to keep the blood moving in the legs (clots often form in patients confined to bed because of the sluggish blood flow in their legs), repeated screening for blood clots using Doppler ultrasound, and the insertion of a “vena cava filter” into the vein that takes blood from the legs to the heart. This last device catches blood clots before they reach the lungs but increases the risk of DVT. Unfortunately, no-one knows which VTE prevention strategy works best in trauma patients who cannot be given heparin. In this study, therefore, the researchers use decision analysis (the systematic evaluation of the most important factors affecting a decision) to estimate the costs and likely clinical outcomes of these strategies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used cost and clinical data from patients admitted to a Canadian trauma center with severe head/neck and/or abdomen/pelvis injuries (patients with a high risk of bleeding complications likely to make heparin therapy dangerous for up to two weeks after the injury) to construct a Markov decision analysis model. They then fed published data on the chances of patients developing DVT or PE, and on the effectiveness of the three VTE prevention strategies, into the model to obtain estimates of the costs and clinical outcomes of the strategies at 12 weeks after the injury and over the patients' lifetime. The estimated incidence of DVT at 12 weeks was 15% for the pneumatic compression device and Doppler ultrasound strategies, but 25% for the vena cava filter strategy. By contrast, the estimated incidence of PE was 2.9% with the pneumatic compression device, 1.5% with Doppler ultrasound, but only 0.3% with the vena cava filter. The expected mortality with all three strategies was similar. Finally, the estimated health care costs per patient at 12 weeks were Can$55,334 and Can$55,831 for the Doppler ultrasound and pneumatic compression device strategies, respectively, but Can$57,377 for the vena cava filter strategy; similar trends were seen for lifetime health care costs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
As with all mathematical models, these findings depend on the data fed into the model and on the assumptions included in it. For example, because data from one Canadian trauma unit were used to construct the model, these findings may not be generalizable. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that, although VTE is common among patients with severe injuries, PE is not a major cause of death among these patients. They also suggest that the use of vena cava filters for VTE prevention in patients who cannot receive heparin should not be routinely used because it is expensive and increases the risk of DVT. Finally, these results suggest that, compared with the other strategies, serial Doppler ultrasound is associated with better clinical outcomes and lower costs.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information (including an animation) on deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
MedlinePlus provides links to more information about deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (in several languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site has information on deep vein thrombosis and on embolism (in English and Spanish)
The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma working group document Practice Management Guidelines for the Management of Venous Thromboembolism in Trauma Patients can be downloaded from the Internet
PMCID: PMC2695771  PMID: 19554085
11.  Malignant epithelioid angiomyolipoma invading the inferior vena cava: Using a temporary vena cava filter to prevent tumour emboli during nephrectomy 
Angiomyolipoma (AML) is generally considered to be benign and malignant angiomyolipoma is rare. This paper presents an extremely rare case of epithelioid AML with tumour thrombus invading inferior vena cava (IVC). We present the case of a 36-year-old woman with epithelioid AML with tumour thrombus invading inferior vena cava who underwent radical nephrectomy and IVC thrombectomy. As an adjunctive procedure, a temporary IVC filter was placed in suprarenal position before operation. One week after surgery, the temporary IVC filter was retrieved by femoral approach. Three months postoperatively, a computed tomography scan and abdominal ultrasonogaphy showed no evidence of thrombus in IVC or renal vein and no sign of tumour recurrence. Epithelioid AML is extremely rare and can be malignant, with invasion of the IVC or renal vein. Implanting temporary filter can prevent fatal pulmonary complication and avoid potential the side effects of permanent filter.
PMCID: PMC4137028  PMID: 25210566
12.  Phlegmasia cerulea dolens, a rare complication of deep vein thrombosis 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr2007053330.
PMCID: PMC3105933  PMID: 21687259
13.  Images in Emergency Medicine: Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens 
The Permanente Journal  2013;17(1):68.
PMCID: PMC3627786  PMID: 23596373
15.  Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens * 
PMCID: PMC1822953  PMID: 13019736
17.  Case of Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens 
British Medical Journal  1952;2(4795):1183-1185.
PMCID: PMC2021962  PMID: 12997687
18.  Phlegmasia cerulea dolens. 
British Medical Journal  1967;1(5542):714.
PMCID: PMC1840986  PMID: 6020087
19.  Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2009;36(1):76-77.
PMCID: PMC2676521  PMID: 19436795
20.  Benefit vs. Risk of a Permanent Inferior Vena Cava Filter in Pulmonary Embolism with Anticoagulation Contraindication 
Mædica  2013;8(4):355-359.
Cases of pulmonary embolism (PE) with contraindication of anticoagulation have low incidence. Under these circumstances the placement of an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter may be life-saving. Paradoxically, the presence of the filter imposes anticoagulation itself, due to the risk of filter thrombosis, promoting stasis and increasing the risk of filter related deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and PE recurrence by means of a substantial collateral venous return that bypasses the IVC filter (1,2). We present the case of a woman with DVT, complicated with high risk PE. After thrombolysis with alteplase the patient develops retroperitoneal hematoma originating from undiagnosed renal angiomyolipoma. Therefore long term anticoagulation is considered contraindicated and an IVC filter is installed. Shortly after hospital release the patient presents occlusion of the IVC filter with DVT recurrence. The initiation of low molecular weight heparin and afterwards of acenocumarol has a favorable outcome, and after six months of follow up the patient is completely recovered.
PMCID: PMC3968472  PMID: 24790668
pulmonary embolism; deep venous thrombosis; inferior vena cava filter; retroperitoneal hematoma
21.  Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filter and Catheter Directed Thrombolysis (CDT) for Treating a 19-year-old Man with Acute Myeloid Leukemia Complicated by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): A Case Report 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2011;4(2):128-133.
Here, we report a case of a 19-year-old man with acute myeloid leukemia complicated by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in which we placed a retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filter during catheter directed thrombolysis (CDT). We were able to retrieve the IVC filter after a successful CDT and concluded that the use of this filter might be efficacious and better than an indwelling IVC filter that is associated with long-term risks. A retrievable filter and CDT should be considered in patients who are at transient risk for phlebemphraxis and require placement of a filter.
PMCID: PMC3595837  PMID: 23555443
catheter directed thrombolysis; retrievable inferior vena cava filter; deep vein thrombosis
22.  Inferior Vena Cava Filters 
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a common disease with significant clinical impact upon our patients. Diagnostic challenges occur because of the nonspecific nature of the presenting symptoms. The advent of multidetector computed tomography, methods to stratify patients into VTE risks (low, intermediate, high) along with serological assays (D-dimers), have helped direct patients through proper workup and into conclusive diagnosis. In most cases, standard medical therapy for VTE is anticoagulation therapy (OAT). In situations where standard OAT is either contraindicated or complications result from that therapy, insertion of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters is considered. Recent reports suggest that although IVC filters are able to prevent pulmonary emboli (PE) in the short and intermediate term, there appear to be long-term consequences including excess recurrent deep venous thombosis (DVT and IVC/filter occlusions). Recognition of the time sequence of IVC filter benefits and complications has encouraged development of optional IVC filters, which can be left in place indefinitely or removed usually before certain time constraints. This article will attempt to address the timing of IVC filter placements to protect patients from significant PE.
PMCID: PMC3036373  PMID: 21326769
Venous; thrombosis; embolism; pulmonary; venae cavai; filters
23.  Diagnosis and treatment of deep-vein thrombosis and approach to venous thromboembolism in obstetrics and gynecology 
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common condition in which the approach to its diagnosis has evolved over the years. Currently, an algorithm strategy combining pre-test probability, D-Dimer testing and compression ultrasound imaging allows for safe and convenient investigation of suspected lower-extremity thrombosis. Patients with low pre-test probability and a negative D-Dimer test result can have proximal DVT excluded without the need for diagnostic imaging. The mainstay of treatment of DVT is anticoagulation therapy, whereas interventions such as thrombolysis and placement of inferior vena cava filters are reserved for special situations. The use of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMW) allows for outpatient management of most patients with DVT. The duration of anticoagulation therapy depends on whether the primary event was idiopathic or secondary to a transient risk factor. More research is required to optimally define the factors that predict an increased risk of recurrent DVT to determine which patients can benefit from extended anticoagulant therapy. DVT is also a serious problem in the antenatal and postpartum period of pregnancy. Thromboembolic complications are the leading cause of both maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The incidence of venous thromboembolism during normal pregnancy is six-fold higher than in the general female population of childbearing age. The treatment of DVT during pregnancy deserves special mention, since oral anticoagulation therapy is generally avoided during pregnancy because of the teratogenic effects in the first trimester and the risk of fetal intracranial bleeding in the third trimester. LMW heparin is the treatment of choice for DVT during pregnancy. If acute DVT occurs near term, interrupting anticoagulation therapy may be hazardous because of the risk of pulmonary embolism. In this situation, placement of a retrievable inferior vena cava filter must be considered. However, there is no consensus as to what the appropriate dose should be and whether anti-Xa levels need to be monitored.
PMCID: PMC3939275  PMID: 24591986
Venous thrombosis; heparin; low- molecular- weight: heparin; anticoagulants; partial thromboplastin time; thromboembolism in pregnancy
24.  Rates and Predictors of Plans for Inferior Vena Cava Filter Retrieval in Hospitalized Patients 
Use of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters has been increasing over time. However, because of the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis with permanent filters, placement of retrievable filters has been recommended. Little is known about the factors associated with planned retrieval of IVC filters.
To describe rates and predictors of plans to retrieve IVC filters in hospitalized patients.
We identified all IVC filter placements from 2001–2006 at an academic medical center and reviewed medical charts to obtain data about patient characteristics, filter retrieval plans, and retrieval success rates. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of planned filter retrieval in patients with retrievable filters.
Out of 240 patients who underwent placement of retrievable IVC filters, only 73 (30.4%) had documented plans for filter retrieval. Factors associated with lower rates of planned filter retrieval included a history of cancer [adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval 0.2 (0.1–0.5)] and not being discharged on anticoagulants [OR 0.1 (0.1–0.3)]. In addition, 36 (21.6%) of patients without retrieval plans had no contraindications to retrieval. Of the 62 patients who underwent attempted filter retrieval, 25.8% of filters could not be successfully removed.
Only 30.4% of patients who underwent placement of a retrievable IVC filter had documented plans for filter removal. Although most patients had justifiable reasons for filter retention, 21.6% of patients had no clear contraindications to filter removal. Efforts to improve rates of filter retrieval in appropriate patients may help reduce the long-term complications of IVC filters.
PMCID: PMC2842553  PMID: 20087675
inferior vena cava; filter retrieval; deep vein thrombosis
25.  Venous Thromboembolism After Removal of Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters 
The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of new or recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) after retrieval of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters and risk factors associated with such recurrence. Between March 2001 and September 2008, at our institution, implanted retrievable vena cava filters were retrieved in 76 patients. The incidence of new or recurrent VTE after retrieval was reviewed and numerous variables were analyzed to assess risk factors for redevelopment of VTE after filter retrieval. In 5 (6.6%) of the 76 patients, redevelopment or worsening of VTE was seen after retrieval of the filter. Three patients (4.0%) had recurrent deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the lower extremities and 2 (2.6%) had development of pulmonary embolism, resulting in death. Although there was no significant difference in the incidence of new or recurrent VTE related to any risk factor investigated, a tendency for development of VTE after filter retrieval was higher in patients in whom DVT in the lower extremities had been so severe during filter implantation that interventional radiological therapies in addition to traditional anticoagulation therapies were required (40% in patients with recurrent VTE vs. 23% in those without VTE; p = 0.5866 according to Fisher’s exact probability test) and in patients in whom DVT remained at the time of filter retrieval (60% in patients with recurrent VTE vs. 37% in those without VTE; p = 0.3637). In conclusion, new or recurrent VTE was rare after retrieval of IVC filters but was most likely to occur in patients who had severe DVT during filter implantation and/or in patients with a DVT that remained at the time of filter retrieval. We must point out that the fatality rate from PE after filter removal was high (2.6%).
PMCID: PMC2816805  PMID: 19768501
Pulmonary embolism; Thrombosis of extremities; Interventional procedures; Vena cava filters

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