MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
William T. Kuo, MD, FSIR, FCCP, FSVM
Director, Stanford IVC Filter Clinic
Director, IR Fellowship Program
Founding Director, IR-DR Residency Program
Associate Professor, Interventional Radiology
Stanford University Medical Center
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: In the USA, over 250,000 IVC filters are now implanted each year, and rising filter use has led to an increase in filter-related morbidity and recognition of the potential complications from indwelling IVC filters. Consequently, the FDA has issued two safety communications alerting all physicians caring for patients with IVC filters to consider removing the filter as soon as protection from pulmonary embolism is no longer needed:
Despite heightened awareness, up to 40-60% of IVC filters cannot be easily removed using standard methods alone, after the filter becomes firmly embedded. Additionally, many patients have undergone prior placement of a permanent-type filter not even designed for retrieval, leaving them with few options for safe device removal. Although all of these patients can develop filter-related morbidity especially after chronic implantation, there is currently no routine option for removing embedded IVC filters refractory to standard retrieval methods. Our 5-year first-in-human study of a novel procedure—laser-assisted filter removal— demonstrates the safety and efficacy of this technique to treat such patients. In a cohort refractory to standard retrieval methods and high force, endovascular laser-assisted retrieval was overall safe and successful in removing a variety of filter types including permanent filters, regardless of dwell time and without the need for open surgery.