UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Vascular

Title: Pulmonary Embolism and IVC Filters

Keywords: Pulmonary Embolism, IVC Filter (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/20/2010 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 12/9/2019)
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Pulmonary Embolism and IVC Filters

Inferior vena cava filters are placed in patients with massive DVT and /or in patients who cannot receive systemic anticoagulation.

The question is, can patients develop pulmonary embolism if a filter is already in place? The answer: yes

How does this happen?:

  • Clot burden at the site of cava-filter insertion (below the filter). Clots can dislodge at this site and slip through the filter.
  • Embolization around the IVC filter via retroperitoneal collaterals.