FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers have published the largest single patient population study to date on a method for following patients with retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters—devices used to keep blood clots from traveling to the lungs. This study, which is important for individuals with IVC filters and their doctors, supports existing guidelines developed by the Society of Interventional Radiology, a national organization of nearly 4,700 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals dedicated to improving health care through minimally invasive treatments.
"Results from this IVC filter study reinforce SIR's existing guidelines surrounding either successful retrieval or permanent placement," said SIR President Timothy P. Murphy, M.D., FSIR. "SIR knows that this is an important and vigorously debated issue. This research—an important addition to the inferior vena cava filter discussion—supports the call for continued rigorous patient/doctor communication and detailed data collection throughout the process, especially after filter placement in order for there to be success," noted Murphy, an interventional radiologist and director of the Vascular Disease Research Center at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. "Research like this may also provide a framework that doctors can use to guide practice and treat patients safely," he added.
Between 350,000 and 600,000 people each year in this country are affected by blood clots, and between 100,000 and 180,000 people die of pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lungs) each year, reports the U.S. Surgeon General. Most patients with blood clots are treated with blood-thinning drugs, which are usually effective in preventing pulmonary embolism. IVC filters—