Bidirectional Pull-Back Technique for Retrieval of Strut-Embedded Cylinder-Shaped Filters in Inferior Vena Cava
PURPOSE To evaluate the use of endobronchial forceps to retrieve tip-embedded inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. MATERIALS AND METHODS This institutional review board-approved, HIPAA-compliant retrospective study included 114 patients who presented with tip-embedded IVC filters for removal from January 2005 to April 2014. The included patients consisted of 77 women and 37 men with a mean age of 43 years (range, 18-79 years). Filters were identified as tip embedded by using rotational venography. Rigid bronchoscopy forceps were used to dissect the tip or hook of the filter from the wall of the IVC. The filter was then removed through the sheath by using the endobronchial forceps. Statistical analysis entailed calculating percentages, ranges, and means. RESULTS The endobronchial forceps technique was used to successfully retrieve 109 of 114 (96%) tip-embedded IVC filters on an intention-to-treat basis. Five failures occurred in four patients in whom the technique was attempted but failed and one patient in whom retrieval was not attempted. Filters were in place for a mean of 465 days (range, 31-2976 days). The filters in this study included 10 Recovery, 33 G2, eight G2X, 11 Eclipse, one OptEase, six Option, 13 Günther Tulip, one ALN, and 31 Celect filters. Three minor complications and one major complication occurred, with no permanent sequelae. CONCLUSION The endobronchial forceps technique can be safely used to remove tip-embedded IVC filters.