Caval penetration by retrievable inferior vena cava filters: a retrospective comparison of Option and Günther Tulip filters

J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2013 Apr;24(4):566-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2012.12.024. Epub 2013 Feb 23.


Purpose: To compare the frequency of vena caval penetration by the struts of the Option and Günther Tulip cone filters on postplacement computed tomography (CT) imaging.

Materials and methods: All patients who had an Option or Günther Tulip inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placed between January 2010 and May 2012 were identified retrospectively from medical records. Of the 208 IVC filters placed, the positions of 58 devices (21 Option filters, 37 Günther Tulip filters [GTFs]) were documented on follow-up CT examinations obtained for reasons unrelated to filter placement. In cases when multiple CT studies were obtained after placement, each study was reviewed, for a total of 80 examinations. Images were assessed for evidence of caval wall penetration by filter components, noting the number of penetrating struts and any effect on pericaval tissues.

Results: Penetration of at least one strut was observed in 17% of all filters imaged by CT between 1 and 447 days following placement. Although there was no significant difference in the overall prevalence of penetration when comparing the Option filter and GTF (Option, 10%; GTF, 22%), only GTFs showed time-dependent penetration, with penetration becoming more likely after prolonged indwelling times. No patient had damage to pericaval tissues or documented symptoms attributed to penetration.

Conclusions: Although the Günther Tulip and Option filters exhibit caval penetration at CT imaging, only the GTF exhibits progressive penetration over time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebography / methods
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vascular System Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular System Injuries / etiology*
  • Vascular System Injuries / therapy
  • Vena Cava Filters / adverse effects*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / diagnostic imaging
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / injuries*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds, Penetrating / etiology*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy
  • Young Adult