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Expectoration of an inferior vena cava filter strut


Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter use is widespread in patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) and temporary contraindication to anticoagulation, though timely removal is often not performed. We report the case of an expectoration of an IVC filter strut. Review of the patient's prior imaging confirmed an infrarenal Bard G2 filter with an absent strut, which was visualised in the left lung base. The strut was presumed to have embolised to a pulmonary artery branch and eroded into an adjacent bronchus. Subsequent fluoroscopically guided filter retrieval was successful. The incidence of IVC filter fractures increases with longer dwell times. Filter fragment embolisation has resulted in major adverse events, including sudden death and cardiac tamponade. Recent evidence has suggested that retrieval of IVC filters with prolonged dwell times is feasible and safe. This report brings awareness to the range of complications with indwelling IVC filters, and highlights the importance of timely removal.

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