Objectives: There have been increasing concerns regarding inappropriate usage of vena
caval filters. Our study was done to analyze the current trends in vena caval filter placement.
Methods: This study used the data from Nationwide Inpatient Sample database for the years 2002-
2012 to identify patients with vena caval filter placement. Trends in both therapeutic and prophylactic
vena caval filter use over the eleven years’ period were analyzed. Multiple simple logistic regression
model was used to assess trends.
Results: The overall incidence of vena caval filter placement increased from 2002 to 2012. The odds
of vena caval filter placement in 2012 were 1.340 (95% CI: 1.236, 1.453) times the odds of vena caval
filter placement in 2002. However, a downward trend was observed after the year 2010. The odds of
vena caval filter placement in 2012 were 0.854 (95% CI: 0.801, 0.911) times the odds in 2010. Similar
trends were seen in both therapeutic and prophylactic placements. The proportion of prophylactic vena
caval filter placements with indications of morbid obesity (P<0.0001), head injury (P=0.0007), surgery
of the eye, brain, spine or other major surgery (P<0.0001) hemorrhage/bleeding (P=0.0046) significantly
increased in 2012 when compared to 2002.
Conclusion: Vena caval filter placement rates have increased significantly from 2002 to 2012 for both
prophylactic and therapeutic indications. However, there seems to be downward trend when comparing
2012 to 2010. Measures such as physician education and hospital audits can be done to further
bring down inappropriate vena caval filter placements.