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Inferior Vena Cava Filter Migration to Right Ventricle With Destruction of Tricuspid Valve: A Case Report

Adair, James Devin MD; Harvey, Kyle P. MD; Mahmood, Ali MD

The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care: February 2008 - Volume 64 - Issue 2 - p 509-511
doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318058251c
Case Report

Inferior vena cava filter migration is an uncommon event. Temporary inferior vena cava filters offer protection against pulmonary embolism in the trauma patient in whom anticoagulation is contraindicated. We present the case of a 53-year-old man who suffered a lower extremity injury, which left him unable to walk for an extended period of time. The patient developed a deep venous thrombosis in the early postoperative course and decision was made to place a retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filter. One week later the IVC filter had migrated to the right ventricle and destroyed the tricuspid valve. Although there are a limited number of cases describing the migration of IVC filters to the heart, there have been no cases in the literature, to our knowledge, where an IVC filter has destroyed the tricuspid valve and required valve replacement.

From the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, Pontiac, MI.

Submitted for publication February 24, 2007.

Accepted for publication March 6, 2007.

Address for reprints: James D. Adair, MD, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, 44405 Woodward Ave., Pontiac, MI 48341; email:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.