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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2002 June;50(3):245-52

language: Italian

Present-day role of vena cava filters

Matarazzo A., Giordano A., Sassi O., Florio A., Polichetti R., Crinisio A.


Background. The purpose of the present is to assess the effectiveness of pulmonary embolism prevention using temporary or permanent vena cava filters in deep venous thromboses of the lower extremities with a discussion of indications and complications.
Methods. In the period between 1989 and 1998 we observed 46 patients (33 m, 13 f) suffering from deep venous thrombosis of the lower extremities.
Results. The cases treated with cava filter showed an improvement in clinical conditions in 15-19 cases with 4/19 cases of complications: filter ascent, lipothymia, one case of pneumothorax and one case of filter ascent with thrombosis of the contralateral venous axis. All complications were solved without further sequelae. After catheterisation of the femoral vein, the thrombosis of the contralateral venous axis in patients with caval filter was a frequently observed event (in 75% of cases). In the cases without filter, an evident improvement was observed in 22/27 cases, a slight improvement in 2/27 cases, with 3/27 cases of complications: two cases of cardiocirculatory arrest and one case of severe dyspnea with suspected pulmonary embolism which survived the event.
Conclusions. From our experience, the use of caval filters is unquestionably useful for the prevention of pulmonary embolism, but is not wholly free from complications.

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