Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe

Vena cava filters – online course


Authors: R. Lakshminarayan and S. Punamiya

Reviewers: A. Basile, B. Gebauer, R. de Graaf, E. Kehagias and C. Nice

This course corresponds to chapter Pulmonary thromboembolic disease in the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology.



Inferior vena cava (IVC) interruption has historically been used to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE). With the advent of percutaneously placed IVC filters, its use has increased exponentially. There are many different types of IVC filters. Most of them are fundamentally designed to provides a filter for large thrombus (reducing the risk of massive PE) but at the same time not unduly increase the risk of in-situ thrombus formation or DVT. With the advent of retrievable or optional filters, the threshold for the usage of IVC filters has dropped.

Despite the increased use of IVC filters, there are many clinical situations wherein the use of IVC filters, associated anticoagulation and the techniques used to place and retrieve IVC filters vary widely. This module focuses on indications, contraindications, techniques of filter placement and retrieval of the commonly used filters. The reader will have clarity on the use of filters and associated management of patients with filters at the end of this module.


Learning objectives

  • Understand anatomical considerations for the placement of vena cava filters.
  • Understand the common indications and contraindications for filter placement.
  • Achieve technical competence in placement techniques of commonly used IVC filters.
  • Achieve technical understanding of retrieval techniques.
  • Understand the role of anticoagulation after filter placement.
  • Understand the complications associated IVC filter placement and retrieval.


Further information

This course covers a basic level of IR knowledge and is designed for trainees, students or young consultants aiming to acquire essential knowledge or prepare for the EBIR exam. Thereby, it is tailored to the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology and corresponds to chapter Pulmonary thromboembolic disease.

The format of the course is interactive and easy to use, including texts, graphics, videos and a quiz to support your learning. The course duration is around one hour.

The enrolment period of this course is linked to the validity of the All-Access Pass.

Release date: October 2021