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Cook offers solutions for prevention of pulmonary embolism (PE)


Cook Medical has worked with physicians since the mid-1980s to develop filter technologies designed to prevent PE in patients who are unable to receive anticoagulation medication. Cook currently offers two types of IVC filters that are able to be retrieved: the Celect Platinum® Vena Cava Filter and the Günther Tulip® Vena Cava Filter. Both filters are commonly referred to as “optional” filters; this means the filter may be removed when your doctor thinks that the danger of PE has passed or that you can effectively take anticoagulation medication. However, these filters can also remain within the body as permanent devices. Cook IVC filters have been implanted in hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide since they became commercially available, starting in 1997.

Filter placement

Your doctor may decide to place a Cook IVC filter if you have already had a PE, in order to prevent another one, in the following situations:

  • you cannot use anticoagulant therapy,
  • anticoagulant therapy has not worked in the past to treat your blood clot problem,
  • you had a massive PE that needed emergency treatment, and/or
  • you have had more than one PE event and anticoagulant therapy has not been effective or has not been recommended for you.

Both Cook optional IVC filters have an umbrella-like shape and are made of a cobalt chromium alloy, a special blend of metals. This design helps trap clots inside the top of the filter while still allowing blood to flow through the vena cava.

The Celect Platinum® and Günther Tulip® vena cava filters each have a tiny hook located at the top of the device, four primary legs with anchors (to keep the filter from moving), and a second set of stabilizing wires that also help to filter blood.

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Celect Platinum femoral placement

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Celect Platinum jugular placement

See the types of filters we have available today.

Filter retrieval

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Celect Platinum retrieval

Once protection from PE is considered no longer necessary, the retrieval of your Cook optional filter should be discussed with your doctor. Each patient is unique, and your doctor will help decide whether to retrieve your filter or leave it in place permanently. This decision depends on your individual medical condition and your doctor’s judgment. It is possible your filter has been in place a long time. In this case, your doctor may determine that the risks of removing the filter are greater than leaving the filter in place.

Cook Medical makes two devices to retrieve your Cook IVC filter. The CloverSnare® 4-Loop Vascular Retriever and the Günther Tulip® Vena Cava Filter Retrieval Set (GTRS) are both designed to capture the filter through a catheter placed into the jugular vein in your neck. If your doctor chooses to retrieve your filter, one of these devices may be used for that retrieval procedure.

Read about Cook’s retrieval sets.

Your doctor has a complete list of the risks related to these products.

Risks of IVC filters

Complications related to the Cook IVC filters fall into the same categories for both the Günther Tulip Vena Cava Filters and the Celect Platinum Vena Cava Filters:

  • During the placement procedure, e.g., deployment difficulties, migration (including to the heart or lungs) during deployment due to unexpanded filter, deployment into an unintended location such as the iliac vein, and IVC dissection;
  • While the filter is indwelling, e.g., IVC stenosis, filter migration within the IVC including down to the iliac vein and up to the heart), perforation of IVC (including pain, internal bleeding), fracture of filter and embolization of filter fragment(s) (e.g., to the heart and lungs), and adverse physiological response (e.g., abdominal pain, infection, IVC blockage, and PE despite a filter in place); and
  • During the retrieval procedure, e.g., retrieval difficulties due to filter legs or the hook getting stuck into the IVC wall, perforation leading to cardiac tamponade, fracture of the filter and embolization of the filter fragment(s) (e.g., to the heart and lungs).

In 2014, the FDA issued “Removing Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters: FDA Safety Communication,” and in that communication, implanting physicians and clinicians responsible for the ongoing care of patients are encouraged to consider retrieving the filter once protection from PE is no longer needed.

Remember, every patient is different, and your doctor knows you best. After reading the information on this site, make an appointment to talk to your doctor to help you make the right decision about any treatments or procedures.

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Here are some questions to ask your doctor about your vena cava filter if you already have one.

Essential Prescribing Information

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Essential Prescribing Information

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NOTE: Once protection from PE is no longer necessary, filter retrieval should be considered. Filter retrieval is a patient-specific, clinically complex decision; the decision to remove a filter should be based on each patient’s individual risk/benefit profile.