The use of retrievable inferior vena cava filters in pregnancy: Another successful case report, but are we actually making a difference?

Lodewyk E. Du Plessis, Ben W. Mol, John M. Svigos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pregnant women with venous thromboembolism are traditionally managed with anticoagulation, but inferior vena cava filters are an alternative. We balanced risks and benefits of an inferior vena cava filter in a decision analysis. Methods: We constructed a decision model to compare in pregnant women with VTE the outcome of (1) inferior vena cava filter and anticoagulant treatment versus (2) anticoagulant treatment only. Results: Assuming a 63% risk reduction from an inferior vena cava filter (baseline mortality rate of venous thromboembolism of 0.5%), 318 women would need to be treated with inferior vena cava filters to prevent one venous thromboembolism related maternal death. Sensitivity analyses indicated that at a mortality rate of 0.5% the risk reduction from inferior vena cava filters needed to be 80%, while at a mortality rate of 2% a risk reduction of 20% would justify inferior vena cava filters. Conclusions: In view of their potential morbidity, inferior vena cava filters should be restricted to pregnant woman at strongly increased risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism.

Number of pages4
JournalObstetric Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Pregnancy
  • clinical decision analysis
  • inferior vena cava filters
  • venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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