Long-term follow-up of the Bird's Nest IVC Filter

Clin Radiol. 1999 Nov;54(11):759-64. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9260(99)91180-7.


Aim: This study is a long-term clinical follow-up of the Bird's Nest Filter which addresses issues such as caval patency, filter integrity, morbidity and mortality.

Materials and methods: 78 consecutive patients with Bird's Nest Filters inserted between 1989 and 1994 were recalled for clinical assessment and imaging follow-up. Pre- and post-filter medical histories were obtained from the patients and their medical records. They were examined for clinical signs of inferior vena cava occlusion. Imaging follow-up was by plain abdominal radiography, colour duplex ultrasound and computed tomography.

Results: 52 patients were alive and well at 4-6 years. Thirty-day mortality was 5.1%. Three-year mortality was 19.2%. Recurrent pulmonary embolus occurred in 1.3%. IVC occlusion was demonstrated in 4.7%. No evidence of filter migration was seen. Wire prolapse occurred in 70% on abdominal X-ray and asymptomatic performation of the caval wall in 85.3% on CT. Morbidity and mortality were the same whether the patient was anticoagulated or not.

Conclusion: The Bird's Nest Filter is safe and effective in both the short and long term.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vena Cava Filters*


  • Anticoagulants