The IVC (inferior vena cava) filter is a medical device designed to prevent blood clots. It is used in patients who are at risk of a pulmonary embolism when anticoagulants either cannot be used or are not effective. The retrievable IVC filters are only meant to be used short-term, until the risk of pulmonary embolism subsides.
According to Dr. Go, the study looked at 262 patients who had received IVC filters. Of the 262 patients in the study, most had received the filters for “prophylaxis or relative indications and were temporary.”
The study revealed penetration occurring in patients as follows: the filter penetrated the aorta in 12 cases; the duodenum in 26; and the spine, colon or kidney in 6; and simultaneously penetrated two organs in 7 cases. However, the IVC filter had only been retrieved in 1.6% of cases.
“It remains unclear if most penetrations caused clinically significant problems,” Dr. Go said. “Monitoring of penetrations with CT, or some other follow-up, may be important to understand the natural history of this condition.”
Regarding the relatively low retrieval rate, Dr. Go commented, “We have attempted to remove some of these filters, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. As far as our retrieval rate, I agree, 1.6% is dismal.”
READ MORE IVC FILTER LEGAL NEWS
IVC Filter lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard, alleging patients were harmed by the use of the IVC filter. These lawsuits were filed following a health advisory issued by the US Food and Drug Administration, warning about issues with IVC filter migration. Plaintiffs allege they suffered serious harm when parts of the IVC filter broke apart and migrated throughout their body, causing deep vein thrombosis and other health problems.