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Volume 3 Supplement 1


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Inferior vena cava filters in the intensive care unit population: single center experience in the united arab emirates

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 3
Intensive Care Medicine Experimental20153 (Suppl 1) :A970

  • Published:


  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Central Venous Catheter
  • Internal Jugular Vein
  • Unite Arab Emirate
  • Inferior Vena Cava Filter


Pharmacological prophylaxis against venous thromboembolism using low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) has become a standard measure in the intensive care unit (ICU) [13]. Risk factors in these patients include critical illness, mechanical ventilation, sedative medications and central venous catheter insertion [2]. In cases where pharmacological prophylaxis is not feasible, inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) have been recommended [1].


Evaluation of the indications, course and outcome for filter placement in the critically ill population.


We retrospectively reviewed charts of 95 patients who had an IVC filter placed between January 2011 and December 2014 at our institution. We studied the indications for IVCF placement, hospital course, insertion/retrieval dates, contraindications to anticoagulation and the complications associated with the filter. These patients were matched to their appropriate IVC filter guideline indications [4], which were analysed.


53 of the 95 patients were admitted to ICU with a median age of 47 (20-86) years. Of the total ICU population with placement, 37 (70%) of the placements were therapeutic and 16 (30%) were prophylactic. In trauma patients (N-20), 70% of the IVC filters were placed as a prophylactic measure whereas in non-traumatic cases 94% of IVC filters were placed for therapeutic indications. Venous access was mostly via the right internal jugular vein (91%) and majority were placed infra-renal (96%). 16 IVC's were retrieved after a median of 67 (21-185) days; representing 30% of the total and 41% of the surviving patients. No immediate procedural complications occurred during placement or retrieval; 3 developed DVT and 1 patient developed PE after insertion. Of the total population involved, 14 patients (26%) died (all being in the non-trauma subgroup). 8 patients were lost to follow up.


Our review shows that the IVCF practices at our institution are consistent with the accepted recommendations. The vast majority of the patients had a contraindication to anticoagulation therapy. The rate of immediate and delayed complications are low, however further follow up is required to assess the incidence of late complications. All patients who died after placement of an IVC were non-trauma patients with serious co-morbidities, which should allow us to be more liberal in their use in trauma cases.

Table 1

Mean Admission Days (Total population)


Shortest Admission (Total population)


Longest Admission (Total population)


Mean Admission Days (Trauma)


Shortest Admission (Trauma)


Longest Admission (Trauma)


Mean Admission Days (Non-trauma)


Shortest Admission (Non-trauma)


Longest Admission (Non-trauma)


[ICU Admission Data]

Figure 1
Figure 1

ICU indications trauma and non-trauma.

Figure 2
Figure 2

IVCF Therapeutic & Prophylactic Indication Split.

Figure 3
Figure 3

DVT & PE Incidence after IVCF insertion.

Authors’ Affiliations

Sheikh Khalifa Specialty Hospital, Internal Medicine, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Khalifa Specialty Hospital, Intensive Care Unit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Khalifa Specialty Hospital, Interventional Radiology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


  1. The intensive care society standards - venous thromboprophylaxis in critical care standards and guidelines.Google Scholar
  2. Geerts WSR: Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in the ICU. Chest. 2003, 124: 357S-63S. 10.1378/chest.124.6_suppl.357S.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Jain MSG: Venous Thromboembolism and its prevention in critical care. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 1997, 18: 79-90. 10.1055/s-2007-1009334.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Quality Improvement Guidelines for the Performance of Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement for the Prevention of Pulmonary Embolism. Drew M. Caplin, et al, for the Society of Interventional Radiology Standards of Practice Committee.Google Scholar


© Beshyah et al.; 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.