Safety of retrievable inferior vena cava filters in patients with the antiphospholipid syndrome
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OBJECTIVE: Consideration for placement of an inferior cava filter arises in patients with APS where cessation of anticoagulation is necessary or thrombotic complications continue despite maximal anticoagulation. Permanent IVC filters are recommended to be avoided. We evaluated the safety of placement and removal of retrievable inferior vena cava filters in patients with APS. METHODS: Case series of 5 patients with APS and aPL antibodies who had placement and removal of retrievable IVC filter (because of contraindication to anticoagulation or ongoing thrombosis despite full anticoagulation) to assess for safety, presence of clots in the vena cava or on the filter while in the body, evidence of PE, or clot on the explanted filter. RESULTS: Insertion and removal, even while on anticoagulation, was safe. There was no evidence of clot in the vena cava, on the filter or pulmonary embolism in all cases. CONCLUSION: Where necessary, retrievable IVC filters may be safer in APS patients but should not be left in for long periods of time.
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