Factors Associated with Failed Retrieval of the Günther Tulip Inferior Vena Cava Filter

Joel S. Marquess, Charles T. Burke, Ashley H. Beecham, Robert G. Dixon, Joseph Stavas, Alan A. Sag, Gary G. Koch, Matthew A. Mauro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify potential factors associated with failed retrieval of the Günther Tulip inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent placement of the Günther Tulip filter with at least one attempt at filter retrieval over a 3-year period. Patient demographics, filter dwell time, filter angulation, and filter leg protrusion were analyzed. Results: A total of 188 patients were included in the study. Primary retrieval success was achieved in 166 patients (88.3%), for an overall retrieval success rate of 94.2%. The overall mean dwell time was 63 days, whereas the mean dwell time in cases of retrieval failure was 95.4 days. A total of seven filters were in place for longer than 6 months, four of which were successfully retrieved. The degree of filter tilt was not found to be significantly related to retrieval success (P = .36), even though filter angulation was commonly cited as a reason for retrieval failure. On venography, 90.9% of filters that could not be retrieved showed leg protrusion beyond the lumen of the IVC. Finally, increasing patient age also correlated with retrieval failure (P = .01). Conclusions: Prolonged dwell time and increasing patient age are associated with failed filter retrieval. However, even filters in place for extended periods can be safely removed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1327
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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