Optional vena cava filter use in the elderly population

Colette M. Shaw, Leslie B. Scorza, Peter N. Waybill, Harjit Singh, Frank C. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review utility, safety, and efficacy of optional inferior vena cava (IVC) filters in patients 65 years or older at a single institution over a 6-year period. Materials and Methods: Retrospective review of permanent and optional IVC filters placed in elderly patients was performed. Older and younger groups were compared based on technical success of filter placement and clinical success measured by recurrent pulmonary embolism (PE) or thrombotic complications. The rate of successful filter removal was compared with that in the cohort of patients of all ages who received optional filters. Results: Fifty-three patients received an optional filter and 445 received a permanent filter. Technical success rates for filter placement in the permanent and optional filter groups were 99.8% (447 of 448) and 98.1% (53 of 54), respectively (P = .51). Rates of PE after filter placement were 0% and 1.4% (five of 359) in the optional and permanent filter groups, respectively (P = .87). Incidences of deep vein thrombosis were 12% (six of 50) and 4.5% (16 of 359) in optional and permanent filter recipients, respectively (P = .06). Filter retrieval was attempted in 55.6% of optional filter recipients (30 of 54), similar to that seen in patients of any age with optional filters. Retrieval was unsuccessful in one patient in whom a suprarenal IVC filter was placed. Conclusions: Optional filters are safe and effective in patients aged 65 years or older. Age alone is a poor predictor of a clinical opportunity to remove a filter. With appropriate patient selection and aggressive follow-up, retrieval rates comparable with those in younger populations can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-828
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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