The purpose of this study was to report the prevalence of thrombus within a retrievable vena cava filter inserted prophylactically in major trauma patients referred for filter extraction. Between November 2002 and August 2005, 80 retrievable inferior vena cava filters (68 Optease and 12 Gunther-Tulip) were inserted into critically injured trauma patients (mean injury severity score 33.5). The filters were inserted within 1 to 6 (mean 2) days of injury. Thirty-seven patients were referred for filter removal (32 with Optease and 5 with Gunther-Tulip). The indwelling time was 7 to 22 (mean 13) days. All patients underwent inferior vena cavography prior to filter removal. There were no insertion-related complications and all filters were successfully deployed. Forty-three (54%) of the 80 patients were not referred for filter removal, as these patients continued to have contraindications to anticoagulation. Thirty-seven patients (46%) were referred for filter removal. In eight of them (22%) a large thrombus was seen within the filters and they were left in place, all with the Optease device. The other 29 filters (36%) were removed uneventfully. We conclude that the relatively high prevalence of intrafilter thrombi with the Optease filter may be explained by either spontaneous thrombus formation or captured emboli.
- Retrievable inferior vena cava filters