Assistant Professor of Radiology Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Inferior vena cava filter is a double edge sword; it is an extremely effective tool in preventing potentially fatal pulmonary embolism when used appropriately. On the other hand, it can be associated with increased risk of developing thrombosis and major morbidity secondary to fracture, perforation and migration of the filter. Therefore, similar to many other interventions, careful and methodical patient selection is essential to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. Most of the risk and side effects of vena cava filters can be avoided if the filter is removed as soon as it is no longer needed. Therefore, filter retrieval is now highly recommended by most of the major societies and organizations as well as the United States Food and Drug Administration. Most filters can be removed using simple snare or cone retrieval systems. However, a large percentage of the filters require advanced retrieval techniques. Therefore, familiarity with these advanced techniques and situations in which each technique can be useful is essential for every interventionalist who inserts filters.