(HealthDay News) — Inferior vena cava filters (VCFs) are a safe and effective way to treat venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

Matthew S. Johnson, M.D., from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and colleagues assessed the safety and effectiveness of VCFs. The analysis included 1,421 participants (mean 62.7 years old; 53.3 percent male) who were treated at 54 U.S. sites between Oct. 10, 2015, and March 31, 2019.

The researchers found that primary safety (freedom from perioperative serious adverse events [AEs] and from clinically significant perforation, VCF embolization, caval thrombotic occlusion, and/or new deep vein thrombosis [DVT] within 12 months) and effectiveness (composite composed of procedural and technical success and freedom from new symptomatic pulmonary embolism [PE] confirmed by imaging at 12 months in situ or one month postretrieval) were met. Procedural AEs were uncommon and usually minor, although one patient died during VCF removal. Strut perforation >5 mm was seen in 31 of 201 patients’ computed tomography scans (15.4 percent), but only three were deemed clinically significant. VCF-related AEs were rare (0.5 percent). VTE events (none fatal) occurred in 6.5 percent of patients postfilter, including DVT (5.2 percent), PE (1.6 percent), and/or caval thrombotic occlusions (1.1 percent). In patients receiving prophylactic placement, no PE occurred.

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“Now that the study is complete, we now have a roadmap for better filter utilization,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We need to solidify a clearer set of practice guidelines for venous thromboembolic disease, based on its symptoms, location, and complications.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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