When is an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter contraindicated?

Updated: Oct 31, 2020
  • Author: Gary P Siskin, MD; Chief Editor: Kyung J Cho, MD, FACR, FSIR  more...
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Answer

Answer

IVC filter placement has been shown to be safe, with only a few relative contraindications in some patients, such as the following:

  • Those receiving therapeutic anticoagulants

  • Those with thrombus between the venous access site and expected deployment site

  • Patients expected to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after filter placement

Many of these contraindications have been addressed with changes in technique and the type of filter used. With smaller introduction and deployment systems and with the availability of ultrasonographic (US) guidance during venous puncture, the reversal of anticoagulation often is not necessary.

The presence of thrombus between the puncture and deployment sites requires the selection of a filter that allows an alternate approach (ie, brachial or jugular vein). The titanium Greenfield, Vena Tech-LGM, Vena Tech LP, Simon nitinol, TrapEase, OptEase, Günther Tulip, and Recovery filters are nonferromagnetic; therefore, for patients with these filters, subsequent exposure to the magnetic field during MRI is possible (see Design Features).


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