E-ISSN 1305-3612
Interventional Radiology - Original Article
Effect of a dedicated inferior vena cava filter retrieval program on retrieval rates and number of patients lost to follow up
1 Department of Radiology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama, United States  
Diagn Interv Radiol ; : -

Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the efficacy of a dedicated inferior vena cava (IVC) filter retrieval program on filter retrieval rates and number of patients lost to follow-up.

 

METHODS: A dedicated IVC filter retrieval program began in July 2016. This consisted of tracking all patients with retrievable filters placed by interventional radiology (IR). At the time of filter placement, patients were scheduled for a retrieval consult in the IR clinic. Any missed appointments were followed up by a physician assistant. The program was overseen by a single IR physician. To assess this program’s efficacy, we reviewed the records of all patients who had retrievable IVC filters placed by IR nine months prior to and nine months after program initiation. Demographics and clinical factors were then collected and compared. A P value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

 

RESULTS: Prior to the program, 76 patients (31 males, 45 females; mean age: 64.2 years) had retrievable filters placed. 75.0% were placed due to a contraindication to anticoagulation. From this group, five filters were removed (6.6%), 42 patients were lost to follow up (55.3%), 22 patients died (29.0%), and seven filters were deemed permanent by a physician after placement (9.2%). All five retrievals were successful and no complications were reported. After program initiation, 106 patients (59 males, 47 females; mean age: 58.8 years) had retrievable filters placed. 75.5% were placed due to a contraindication to anticoagulation. In this group, 30 filters were retrieved (retrieval rate 28.3%), 17 patients were lost to follow up (16%), 23 patients died (21.7%), 28 filters were deemed permanent by a physician after placement (26.4%), and decisions were still pending in eight patients (7.5%). One patient (3.3%) had a minor complication during filter retrieval. Initiation of a filter retrieval program increased our retrieval rate (6.6% vs. 28.3%; P < 0.001) and reduced the number of patients with filters that were lost to follow up (55.3% vs. 16%; P < 0.001).

 

CONCLUSION: Dedicated filter retrieval program is effective in increasing filter retrieval rates and decreasing the number of patients lost to follow up.

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