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Todd M. Getzen and John E. Rectenwald

Deep venous thrombosis and thromboembolism are significant health risks, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Chronically ill and hospitalized patients, particularly those with cancer, have a high risk for developing these conditions. Mechanical inferior vena cava (IVC) filtration has been standard care for patients with these conditions in whom anticoagulation therapy is contraindicated or has failed. This article reviews caval filters and the current indications for using mechanical IVC filters, including retrievable versus permanent filters, focusing on their use in treating venous thromboembolism in cancer patients.