Vena cava filters do not lower mortality rate in many pulmonary embolism cases

Published date : 15 June 2012
Article date : 15 June 2012

A series of three papers published in the May 2012 edition of the American Journal of Medicine aims to shed new light on the efficacy of vena cava filters used in the treatment of pulmonary embolism.

The findings, based on a study of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a government database of more than two million patients treated for pulmonary embolism between 1999 and 2008, indicate that vena cava filter placement does not improve mortality rates in the majority of cases.
The second article of the series, however, does highlight that for the small percentage of patients suffering pulmonary embolism who arrive at hospital in an unstable condition - in shock or requiring a ventilator – vena cava filters do significantly improve mortality rates.  In addition to treatment with vena cava filters, it is also essential that these patients also receive thrombolytic therapy, according to the third paper in the publication series.
The research, published by Paul Stein of Michigan State University, should help to form clearer guidance on the treatments that are most effective for pulmonary embolism patients.
For full details of the three studies link out to the American Journal of Medicine articles below:
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