In vitro metal fatigue testing of inferior vena cava filters

Haraldur Bjarnason, Joseph W. Yedlicka, David W. Hunter, Wilfrido R. CastaÑeda-ZuÑiga, Kurt Amplatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. Inferior vena cava filter fractures have been described in vivo on several occasions. No studies have compared the fatigue life of the different filter types. Four different, frequently used filters (Vena-Tech filters [VTF], stainless-steel Greenfield filters [SSGF], Simon nitinol filters [SNF], and titanium Greenfield filters [TGF]) were, therefore, tested with regard to fatigue life. Methods. Ten filters of each type were tested by compressing the filter legs repeatedly. A travel distance of 1.5 cm was used, setting minimal and maximal filter leg separations of 1.0 cm and 2.5 cm, respectively. The endpoint was filter fracture or 10,000,000 compressions. The test was then repeated on five of the filters from each group, but on a different filter leg pair. Results. Seven of 10 VTFs fractured during the first part of the study, and all five VTFs fractured during the second part of the study. One SSGF fractured in each part of the study. None of the SNFs or the TGFs fractured. Significant difference in fracture frequency was found. Conclusion. The VTFs appear to have the shortest fatigue life. The TGF and the SNF have a fatigue life exceeding the test limits. The consequences of filter fracture are unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-821
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • Embolism, pulmonary
  • Metal fatigue
  • Strut fracture
  • Venae cavae, filters
  • Venae cavae, interventional procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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