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Dedicated Tracking of Patients with Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters Improves Retrieval Rates

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Retrievable IVC filters (R-IVCF) are associated with multiple complications, including filter migration and deep venous thrombosis. Unfortunately, most series of R-IVCF show low retrieval rates, often due to loss to follow-up. This study demonstrates that actively tracking R-IVCF improves retrieval. Trauma patients at one institution with R-IVCF placed between January 2007 and January 2011 were tracked in a registry with a goal of retrieval. These were compared to a control group who had R-IVCF placed previously (December 2005 to December 2006). Outcome measures include filter retrieval, retrieval attempts, loss to follow-up, and time to filter retrieval. We compared 93 tracked patients with R-IVCF with 20 controls. The baseline characteristics of the groups were similar. Tracked patients had significantly higher rates of filter retrieval (60% vs 30%, P = 0.02) and filter retrieval attempts (70% vs 30%, P = 0.002) and were significantly less likely to be lost to follow-up (5% vs 65%, P < 0.0001). Time to retrieval attempt was 84 days in the registry versus 210 days in the control group, which trended towards significance (P = 0.23). Tracking patients with R-IVCF leads to improved retrieval rates, more retrieval attempts, and decreased loss to follow up. Institutions should consider tracking R-IVCF to maximize retrieval rates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of General Surgery, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 2: Department of General Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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