Cardiopulmonary MedicineCASE REPORT

Safe endovascular retrieval of a vena cava filter after duodenal perforation

Michael J. Avery, DO; Nicole R. Cullen, MD; Mark L. Lessne, MD; Bradley W. Thomas, MD; and Ronald F. Sing, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 20, 2021

Accepted: August 31, 2022

Published: November 4, 2022

  • Michael J. Avery, DO, 

    Department of Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA

  • Nicole R. Cullen, MD, 

    Charlotte Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Charlotte, NC, USA

  • Mark L. Lessne, MD, 

    Charlotte Radiology, Charlotte, NC, USA

  • Bradley W. Thomas, MD, 

    Department of Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA

  • Ronald F. Sing, DO, 

    Department of Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA

J Osteopath Med; 122(12): 605-608

The use of vena cava filters (VCF) is a common procedure utilized in the prevention of pulmonary embolism (PE), yet VCFs have some significant and known complications, such as strut penetration and migration. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and PE remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. It is estimated that as many as 900,000 individuals are affected by these each year with estimates suggesting that nearly 60,000–100,000 Americans die of DVT/PE each year. Currently, the preferred treatment for DVT/PE is anticoagulation. However, if there are contraindications to anticoagulation, an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter can be placed. These filters have both therapeutic and prophylactic indications. Therapeutic indications (documented thromboembolic disease) include absolute or relative contraindications to anticoagulation, complication of anticoagulation, failure of anticoagulation, propagation/progression of DVT during therapeutic anticoagulation, PE with residual DVT in patients with further risk of PE, free-floating iliofemoral IVC thrombus, and severe cardiopulmonary disease and DVT. There are also prophylactic indications (no current thromboembolic disease) for these filters. These include severe trauma without documented PE or DVT, closed head injury, spinal cord injury, multiple long bone fractures, and patients deemed at high risk of thromboembolic disease (immobilized or intensive care unit). Interruption of the IVC with filters has long been practiced and is a procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis. There are known complications of filter placement, which include filter migration within the vena cava and into various organs, as well as filter strut fracture. This case describes a 66-year-old woman who was found to have a filter migration and techniques that were utilized to remove this filter.

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