Inferior Vena Cava Filter Improves Mortality Rate for Patients with Congestive Heart Failure, Pulmonary Embolism

Leesburg, VA, September 13, 2018—Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement is associated with improved in-hospital mortality rates for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and pulmonary embolism (PE), according to an article in the September 2018 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

The study shows that, among patients with a comorbidity of CHF who are admitted with PE, the risk of in-hospital death among patients who received an IVC filter was significantly lower than in those who did not, representing an absolute risk reduction of 2.5%.

The study examined data from the 2005-2015 Nationwide Inpatient Sample for more than 425,000 patients admitted with both CHF and PE. The all-cause in-hospital mortality rate for patients who received an IVC filter was 9.7 percent, while the rate for patients who did not receive an IVC filter was 12.2%.

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement is an alternative strategy to prevent PE in patients with a contraindication to anticoagulant therapy or for whom anticoagulation therapy has failed. However, IVC filters have been associated with long-term complications including, but not limited to, deep vein thrombosis, filter fracture and embolization, and filter migration.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued in 2010 and renewed in 2014 a safety communication that highlighted the long-term complications of IVC filters and recommended that the implanting clinicians and physicians consider removing the filter as soon as protection from PE is no longer needed.

Researchers led by Vibhor Wadhwa, of the Department of Radiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, concluded that, in the absence of data from randomized controlled trials, the results of this study suggest survival benefit with IVC filter placement in patients with PE and CHF.

Founded in 1900, ARRS is the first and oldest radiology society in the United States, and is an international forum for progress in radiology. The Society's mission is to improve health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills in radiology. ARRS achieves its mission through an annual scientific and educational meeting, publication of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) and InPractice magazine, topical symposia and webinars, and print and online educational materials. ARRS is located in Leesburg, VA.