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Efficacy of prophylactic inferior vena caval filters in prevention of pulmonary embolism in the absence of deep venous thrombosis. J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord 2016 Jan;4(1):127-130.e1



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84952863793   11 Citations


There is an increasing use of inferior vena caval filters (IVCFs) as prophylactic activity in the absence of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE) in high-risk patients. These devices are effective in preventing PE in the presence of lower extremity DVT, when anticoagulation is contraindicated or has failed. An electronic databases search of MEDLINE, PubMed, The Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar for relevant articles listed between January 2000 and December 2014 was performed. The review was confined to patients without a history of previous venous thromboembolism and no evidence of changes on venous duplex imaging suggestive of previous DVT. At present, the use of prophylactic IVCF is predominantly in the trauma, orthopedic, and bariatric surgical populations. Currently, no class I studies exist to support insertion of an IVCF in a patient without an established DVT or PE. However, there is a body of class II and class III evidence that would support the use of IVCFs in certain "high-risk" patients who do not have a documented DVT or the occurrence of a PE. Widespread use of prophylactic IVCFs is not supported by evidence and should be discouraged.

Author List

Davies MG, Hart JP, El-Sayed HF


Joseph Hart MD Associate Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Pulmonary Embolism
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Treatment Outcome
Vena Cava Filters
Venous Thromboembolism
Venous Thrombosis