Vena caval filters in the prevention of pulmonary embolism All currently available caval filters can be implanted percutaneously in local anaesthesia. In the USA the FDA has approved the stainless steel Greenfield filter, the Titanium Greenfield filter, the Bird's Nest filter, the LGM or VenaTech filter and the Simon Nitinol filter. Some other caval filters are commercially available in Europe, but there exist only few clinical trials about them. The Greenfield filter is implanted since the early seventies and the greatest amount of data has been published about it. Standard indications for filter placement are recurrent pulmonary embolism despite adequate anticoagulation, in patients after pulmonary embolectomy, when there is a contraindication to anticoagulation (e.g. fresh surgical wound, active gastrointestinal bleeding, recent haemorrhagic stroke, major trauma,...) and when serious complications occur after thrombolysis or anticoagulation. In patients who suffer from severe cardiopulmonary disease both a caval filter and anticoagulation may be required. Follow-up investigations include plain abdominal radiography and duplex ultrasound, in special cases computed tomography, cavography, magnetic resonance imaging in newer filter types, and intravascular ultrasound. Complications include recurrent pulmonary embolism, caval obstruction, migration, fracture and perforation of filter struts. As clinically relevant complications are rare, in diligently selected cases the patient will benefit from implantation of a caval filter.