Which techniques are used for the placement of IVC filters 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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Regardless of the type of filter placed, the technique remains the same. Local anesthetic is used to anesthetize either the groin for a femoral vein approach or the neck for a jugular vein approach. A single wall needle is used under ultrasonic guidance to enter the target vein, and a 0.035-inch guidewire is passed into the inferior vena cava. A venogram is performed to identify the renal veins and measure the diameter of the vena cava to ensure the cava is not too big for the filter. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) can also be used for this purpose. It has the added benefit of not only allowing for bedside filter placement in sick intensive care unit (ICU) patients, but it also obviates the need for IV contrast. The correct filter location traditionally entails an infra-renal fixation with central filter extension to the level of the renal veins. Placement in the suprarenal inferior vena cava or superior vena cava may be indicated in some situations.

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