Efficacy of prophylactic inferior vena caval filters in prevention of pulmonary embolism in the absence of deep venous thrombosis

Mark G. Davies, Joseph P. Hart, Hosam F. El-Sayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is an increasing use of inferior vena caval filters (IVCFs) as prophylactic activity in the absence of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE) in high-risk patients. These devices are effective in preventing PE in the presence of lower extremity DVT, when anticoagulation is contraindicated or has failed. An electronic databases search of MEDLINE, PubMed, The Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar for relevant articles listed between January 2000 and December 2014 was performed. The review was confined to patients without a history of previous venous thromboembolism and no evidence of changes on venous duplex imaging suggestive of previous DVT. At present, the use of prophylactic IVCF is predominantly in the trauma, orthopedic, and bariatric surgical populations. Currently, no class I studies exist to support insertion of an IVCF in a patient without an established DVT or PE. However, there is a body of class II and class III evidence that would support the use of IVCFs in certain "high-risk" patients who do not have a documented DVT or the occurrence of a PE. Widespread use of prophylactic IVCFs is not supported by evidence and should be discouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-130.e1
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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