Society of Interventional Radiology publishes new IVC filter guidelines

The Society of Interventional Radiology on Wednesday released practice recommendations for using inferior vena cava filters to treat venous thromboembolism.

SIR said that this is its first official clinical practice guidelines, developed using best practice methodologies from the National Academy of Medicine.

“These guidelines allow physicians treating patients at risk of a pulmonary embolism to make evidence-based decisions about the use of IVC filters,” primary author of the document, John A. Kaufman, MD, MS, and chair of Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of IR, said in a statement. “Throughout the process, the multidisciplinary team followed a gold-standard methodology to ensure we reached the best possible consensus on VTE patient care.”

According to the expert document, providers should avoid routine placement of IVC filters in VTE patients being successfully treated with anticoagulants. In cases where such drugs are not effective, however, filters should become an option assuming risk factors such as bleeding, vascular injury, device migration and increased risk of deep vein thrombosis are low.

After providers place IVC filters, the guidelines suggest a follow-up program to bolster retrieval rates and detect complications.

“With these multidisciplinary guidelines, the authors have removed any inconsistencies and uncertainties older guidelines may have presented physicians treating patients with VTE,” SIR President Michael D. Dake, MD, said on Sept. 9. “The authors should be proud of this achievement.”

SIR developed the clinical guidelines alongside a number of top medical organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and the American College of Surgeons, among others. The Canadian Association for Interventional Radiology and Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe have endorsed the guidelines.

Read the entire set of recommendations in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology here.