Background Retrieval of vena cava filters (VCFs) is important for safety as complications increase with longer dwell times. This study assessed VCF retrieval rates and factors associated with retrieval in a national cohort.

Methods and Results VCFs were identified by procedural codes from an administrative claims database. Patients were identified who had a VCF placement during a hospitalization from a national commercial administrative claims database. Indications for VCF placement were identified as pulmonary embolism with or without deep vein thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis only, or prophylactic. Patient demographic and clinical characteristics were included in proportional hazard regression models to find associations with early (90-day) and 1-year VCF retrieval. Initiation of anticoagulation and the correlation between time-to-retrieval and time-to-initiation of anticoagulation were observed. Of 54 766 patients receiving a VCF, 36.9% had pulmonary embolism, 43.9% had deep vein thrombosis only, and 19.2% had no apparent venous thromboembolism present. Over the 1 year of follow-up, the cumulative incidence of VCF retrieval was 18.4%. Retrieval increased over time from a low of 14.0% in 2010 up to ≈24% in 2014. In adjusted time-to-event models, increasing age, differing regions, and some comorbidities were associated with poorer retrieval rates. Initiation of anticoagulation was poorly correlated with retrieval, with anticoagulation preceding retrieval by a median of 51 days while those without retrieval had a median of 278 days of exposure to anticoagulation.

Conclusions VCF retrieval increased over the study period but remained suboptimal and was weakly correlated with anticoagulation initiation.

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Published in Journal of the American Heart Association, v. 6, issue 9, e006708, p. 1-11.

© 2017 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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The project described was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through grant number UL1TR000117. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. Drs. Brown and Adams were supported by a research grant from the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacists Association.