Efficacy of inferior vena cava filters in anticoagulated patients

Henny H. Billett, L. G. Jacobs, E. M. Madsen, E. R. Giannattasio, S. Mahesh, H. W. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: The benefit of an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter in addition to standard anticoagulation regimens is unknown. Methods: We examined data for patients who received IVC filters with anticoagulation (AC-Filter) after an episode of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and compared them with data for those who received anticoagulation only (AC-Only). Outcome measures were new pulmonary embolism (PE), recurrent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and mortality at 90 days and at 5 years. Demographic data included age, gender, and ethnicity/race, prior thromboembolic history, cancer, serum albumin, and time in therapeutic range. In addition, subsets matched for age, gender and race/ethnicity were examined in detail. Results: AC-Filter patients (n = 251), when compared to AC-Only patients (n = 1377), did not differ significantly with regard to gender or cancer status, but white males in general had better outcomes. AC-Filter patients were more likely to have had a previous history of PE or VTE (P < 0.001). In comparison to AC-Only patients, AC-Filter patients had lower mean serum albumin levels (3.1 ± 0.8 vs. 3.6 ± 0.8 mg dL -1, P < 0.001) and were older (65 ± 16.1 years vs. 60 ± 17.5 years, P < 0.001). After stratification according to previous history of PE or VTE prior to the index VTE event, no differences in the outcome measures of new PE, recurrent DVT or mortality were identified between groups, but patients with a prior history of PE from either group were more likely to have a new PE (hazard ratio 1.9, P < 0.001). Conclusions: These data suggest that IVC filters may not provide any substantial additional benefit for patients who can tolerate anticoagulant therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1848-1853
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Anticoagulation
  • Inferior vena cava filter
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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