Patients with an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter that remains in situ encounter a lifelong increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and IVC filter complications including fracture, perforation, and IVC filter thrombotic occlusion. Data on the safety of becoming pregnant with an in situ IVC filter are scarce. The objective was to evaluate the risk of complications of in situ IVC filters during pregnancy. We performed a retrospective cohort study of pregnant patients with an in situ IVC filter from a tertiary center between 2000 and 2020. We collected data on complications of IVC filters and pregnancy outcomes. Additionally, we performed a systematic literature search in MEDLINE, Embase, and gray literature. We identified 7 pregnancies in 4 patients with in situ IVC filters with a mean time since IVC filter insertion of 3 years (range, 1-8). No complications of IVC filter occurred during pregnancy. Review of literature yielded five studies including 13 pregnancies in 9 patients. In 1 pregnancy a pre-existent, until then asymptomatic, chronic perforation of the vena cava wall by the IVC filter caused major bleeding and uterine trauma with fetal loss. Overall, the complication rate was 5%. It seems safe to become pregnant with an indwelling IVC filter that is intact and does not show signs of perforation, but because of the low number of cases, no firm conclusions about safety of in situ IVC filters during pregnancy can be drawn. We suggest imaging before pregnancy to reveal asymptomatic IVC filter complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4044-4053
Number of pages10
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021

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