Updated trends in inferior vena cava filter use by indication in the United States after Food and Drug Administration safety warnings: A decade analysis from 2010 to 2019


Background: Overall inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) utilization has decreased in the United States since the 2010 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety communication. The FDA renewed this safety warning in 2014 with additional mandates on reporting IVCF-related adverse events. We evaluated the impact of the FDA recommendations on IVCF placements for different indications from 2010 to 2019 and further assessed utilization trends by region and hospital teaching status.

Methods: Inferior vena cava filter placements between 2010 and 2019 were identified in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database using the associated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, and Tenth Revision codes. Inferior vena cava filter placements were categorized by indication for venous thromboembolism (VTE) "treatment" in patients with VTE diagnosis and contraindication to anticoagulation and "prophylaxis" in patients without VTE. Generalized linear regression was used to analyze utilization trends.

Results: A total of 823 717 IVCFs were placed over the study period, of which 644 663 (78.3%) were for VTE treatment and 179 054 (21.7%) were for prophylaxis indications. The median age for both categories of patients was 68 years. The total number of IVCFs placed for all indications decreased from 129 616 in 2010 to 58 465 in 2019, with an aggregate decline rate of -8.4%. The decline rate was higher between 2014 and 2019 than between 2010 and 2014 (-11.6% vs -7.2%). From 2010 to 2019, IVCF placement for VTE treatment and prophylaxis trended downward at rates of -7.9% and -10.2%, respectively. Urban nonteaching hospitals saw the highest decline for both VTE treatment (-17.2%) and prophylactic indications (-18.0%). Hospitals located in the Northeast region had the highest decline rates for VTE treatment (-10.3%) and prophylactic indications (-12.5%).

Conclusion: The higher decline rate in IVCF placements between 2014 and 2019 compared with 2010 and 2014 suggests an additional impact of the renewed 2014 FDA safety indications on national IVCF utilization. Variations in IVCF use for VTE treatment and prophylactic indications existed across hospital teaching types, locations, and regions.

Clinical impact: Inferior vena cava filters (IVCF) are associated with medical complications. The 2010 and 2014 FDA safety warnings appeared to have synergistically contributed to a significant decline in IVCF utilization rates from 2010 - 2019 in the US. IVC filter placements in patients without venous thromboembolism (VTE) declined at a higher rate than VTE. However, IVCF utilization varied across hospitals and geographical locations, likely due to the absence of universally accepted clinical guidelines on IVCF indications and use. Harmonization of IVCF placement guidelines is needed to standardize clinical practice, thereby reducing the observed regional and hospital variations and potential IVC filter overutilization.



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