Editor's Note |

Inferior Vena Cava Filters: The Harms Are Clear, the Benefits Less So:  Comment on “The Inferior Vena Cava Filter”

Mitchell H. Katz, MD
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(7):495. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.3306.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Many of my patients over the years have had an inferior vena cava filter placed, usually because of a deep venous thrombosis and a contraindication to anticoagulation. Although I was aware of the complications of these filters, I assumed that there was strong evidence for their use. From this article I have learned how thin the evidence base is for these filters.

I second the motion by the authors on the need for randomized controlled trials to determine whether the benefits of these filters exceed the risks, and I agree with the authors that such studies will occur only if the manufacturers are required by the FDA to do so to maintain their approval or funded by the federal government. Until more evidence is available, this article has changed how I will approach the next patient with a deep venous thrombosis and a contraindication to anticoagulation. Rather than “recommending” an inferior vena cava filter, I intend to discuss with the patient the lack of data on the effectiveness of the filter and the growing evidence of the harm.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...