Catheter-Directed Therapy is Safe and Effective for the Management of Acute Inferior Vena Cava Thrombosis

Khanjan H. Nagarsheth, Charles Sticco, Ritu Aparajita, Jonathan Schor, Kuldeep Singh, Saqib Zia, Jonathan Deitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background The management of acute thrombosis of inferior vena cava (AT-IVC) has evolved to catheter-based therapies, the results of which remain uncertain. We report our institution's experience treating AT-IVC using endovascular methods. Methods A 10-year retrospective review of patients presenting with symptomatic IVC thrombosis between the years 2005 and 2014 was performed. Demographic data, treatment modalities, and outcomes were reviewed. Results Twenty-five patients (44% men) underwent treatment for acute (<2 weeks) symptomatic IVC thrombosis. Presenting symptoms included pain and limb swelling in 23 (92%), motor dysfunction in 16 (64%), sensory loss in 14 (56%), and pulmonary embolism (PE) in 2 (8%) patients. Phlegmasia cerulea dolens was present in 5 patients, a history of malignancy was identified in 7 patients, and 21 patients had an IVC filter at presentation (Trapease 12, G2X 3, Option 2, Eclipse 2, Meridian 2). Four patients had a documented hypercoagulable state, 21 patients underwent venous angioplasty, and 7 (28%) patients underwent venous stenting of the IVC or iliofemoral veins. Significant (>50% luminal gain) angiographic resolution of venous thrombus was achieved in all 25 patients. Twenty-one (84%) patients reported moderate-to-complete symptomatic improvement immediately after completion of the procedures. Two patients had a clinically symptomatic PE and 1 patient underwent an above-knee amputation secondary to venous gangrene. Other complications included 6 minor bleeding complications (2 local hematoma, 4 hematuria) all of which resolved spontaneously. There were 2 major bleeding complications (1 disseminated intravascular coagulation, 1 retroperitoneal hematoma). Conclusions Endovascular treatment of AT-IVC, regardless of etiology, is safe and effective with excellent short-term clinical results. An aggressive endovascular approach to treatment of AT-IVC is warranted even in the presence of a thrombosed vena cava filter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1379
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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