IVC Filters Not Recommended for Cancer Patients

IVC filter 294x210 IVC Filters Not Recommended for Cancer PatientsPatients who have been diagnosed with cancer are at increased risk for blood clots, especially venous thromboembolism (VTE), including pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). Cancer treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy increase the risk even more.

In a recent study, Alok Khorana, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues are not in favor of using inferior vena cava (IVC) filters in cancer patients. The cage-like devices are designed to catch blood clots before reaching the heart or lungs, but they have been known to tilt, perforate the vein and organs, migrate, or fracture.

Dr. Khorana remains positive about other options to help prevent blood clots. “A bunch of new anticoagulants are coming out,” said Khorana. The new anticoagulants are known as “direct anticoagulants,” or DOACs.

More research is needed to support the new DOACs in cancer patients, but according to Khorana, “There is a lot of ongoing research in the cancer population, and we hope to have the data we need in the next couple of years.”

In an FDA medical device safety report, a patient who had received a Bard Meridian IVC filter returned four months later to have it removed. An X-ray revealed the filter had fractured, with two of the filter legs missing. CT scans located them, one of which was in the patient’s right ventricle. She was immediately admitted into the hospital where the legs were successfully removed.

According to the report, Bard was notified of the potential for patient harm, as the fractured IVC filter could have been deadly. The report states, “Bard responded via letter stating filter fractures are a known complication of vena cava filters”.

C.R. Bard has been under fire in recent months for the alleged high failure rates of its IVC filters. The Recovery filter alone has been linked to 27 deaths and hundreds of non-fatal injuries. Hundreds of lawsuits have been aimed at Bard from patients seeking justice for injuries they claim are related to the devices.

Source: MedPage Today