What is the efficacy of adding an IVC filter to anticoagulation in the treatment of deep venous thrombosis (DVT)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2019
  • Author: Kaushal (Kevin) Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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In a randomized trial, the addition of an inferior vena cava filter to anticoagulation for DVT increased the risk of recurrent DVT (11.6% to 20.8%) and did not improve the 2-year survival rate. However, the filter group had significantly fewer PEs (1.1% vs 4.8%). Of note was the risk of major bleeding at 3 months (10.5%). This result agrees with other reports and highlights the usual trade-off of prophylaxis with a filter versus anticoagulation and the respective complication risks of new DVT (peripheral to the filter) versus major hemorrhage. In the elderly patient with an increased risk of bleeding, and particularly if the patient is at risk for trauma, the risk and benefits may favor use of a filter.

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