IVC Filter Can Cause Perforation of Organs and Veins

IVC Filter can cause PerforationOne of the most serious medical complications that can occur if something goes wrong with an IVC filter is VC filters causing vein and organ perforation. When the vein that covers the IVC filter becomes perforated, the vein walls are compromised, putting nearby organs at risk. When the IVC filter started to perforates organs, it can result in potentially fatal medical conditions. Therefore, this article will mainly talk about how IVC filter can cause perforation and the side effect of the perforation.

The mechanism by which IVC filters can cause perforation in veins and organs

If the filter fractures, the struts break and migrate, or the IVC filter is left implanted for too long, it can perforate the inferior vena cava vein and adjacent organs. According to one study, all surveyed IVC filters that had been implanted for more than 71 days had perforated the inferior vena cava vein to some extent. Perforation is not an uncommon occurrence: Between 2005 and 2010, the FDA received 70 reports of IVC filters perforating the inferior vena cava vein. IVC filters are tiny implantable devices that resemble an umbrella frame. On one end of the device, there are a number of =struts that can be opened and closed like an umbrella. The device’s head is on the other end. This is where the struts all come together, giving the head the appearance of an umbrella handle.

The IVC filter is inserted into a patient through a small incision in their neck or groin, with its struts closed. Once inside, a catheter is used to guide it to the inferior vena cava vein in the patient’s abdomen. This is the largest vein in the body, and it transports blood from the legs to the heart and lungs. When the filter is in place, the struts are opened to gain a foothold in the inferior vena cava’s interior walls. The IVC filter remains in place to catch blood clots that travel up the inferior vena cava. The IVC filter prevents potentially fatal pulmonary embolisms by preventing these clots from reaching the heart or lungs.

However, the struts of the IVC filter can dig too deeply into the inferior vena cava’s interior walls. This can occur when the IVC filter is first placed, if the struts open with too much force, or over time as the patient’s heartbeat, respiration, and body movement jostle the inferior vena cava, causing the IVC filter to strain.  If the struts have hooks to prevent the IVC filter from migrating, the chances of perforation and its severity increase significantly. If this occurs, the struts of the IVC filter can create perforations that dent the vein walls. These perforations weaken the vein and can protrude into the organs adjacent to the inferior vena cava. Deep protrusions can also cause perforations in these organs, resulting in additional medical complications.

2. Medical complications caused by an IVC filter perforating a vein or organ

Depending on the severity and depth of the perforation, as well as the organ involved, a vein or organ perforated by an IVC filter can result in a variety of medical complications. Even when only one vein is perforated, the medical complications can be severe, including:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Retroperitoneal hematoma, or a clotted blood swelling behind the peritoneum in the abdomen.
  • Aneurysms in the inferior vena cava
  • Cardiac or pericardial tamponade

When the struts of the filter impact organs that tightly surround the inferior vena cava, the medical complications of an IVC filter perforation become far more serious. These organs include the renal pelvis, which is a part of the kidney, the aorta, the largest artery in the body, the lumbar artery, and the duodenum, which is a part of the small intestine. In addition to the medical complications that can occur if only the inferior vena cava is perforated, perforations in any of these organs can result in:

  • Pseudoaneurysms in the lumbar artery or in the aorta,
  • Fistulas with other organs
  • Internal bleeding and hemorrhaging
  • Chronic abdominal pain

Therefore, after reading the article above, reader will be more aware of the use of IVC filter. When the IVC filter cause perforation, it can result in fatal medical conditions.

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