Safety and Effectiveness of Inferior Vena Cava Filters Used to Protect Against Pulmonary Embolus: A Technology Assessment

Judith Walsh, MD, MPH



In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) is requested to review the scientific evidence for the safety and efficacy of the use of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters for the prevention of pulmonary embolus (PE). This review was prompted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning published in August, 2010. Since 2005, the FDA has received a fair number of device adverse reports, some of which led to adverse clinical outcomes in patients. Initially all filters were placed permanently, but more recently filters have been developed that can be placed when needed and then removed once a patient's risk for PE has decreased. Due to concern that retrievable IVC filters which are intended for short term placement, are not always removed once a patient's risk for PE subsides. The FDA recommended that implanting physicians and clinicians responsible for the ongoing care of patients with retrievable IVC filters consider removing the filter as soon as protection from PE is no longer needed.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.