American Venous Forum Launches IVC Filter Module of American Venous Registry

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Improving Tomorrow’s Outcomes With Today’s Data

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The IVC Filter Module is launching at an extremely appropriate time as the FDA, doctors and patients are struggling with critical questions...

Today the American Venous Forum (AVF) is launching the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Module for its American Venous Registry (AVR). According to Uchenna Onyeachom, the AVR Administrator, this is the first and only national registry of IVC filters placed and retrieved in the United States.

The AVR, launched in February of this year, standardizes the collaborative collection and analysis of clinical information about venous disease. By identifying practice patterns for venous disease diagnosis and treatment across the U.S. and across varied specialties, the Registry will facilitate the assessment of functional outcomes and comparative analyses of different clinical approaches to venous disease management. This makes it a powerful tool for the development of treatment guidelines, evidence-based modification of public policy, and re-direction of health care resources.

IVC filters are placed in patients who have a history of, or who are at risk of, developing blood clots in the legs. The purpose of the filter is to trap large clot fragments and prevent them from traveling through the vena cava vein to the lungs, where they could cause severe complications or even death.

The filter is placed in the inferior vena cava, the large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. Until recently, IVC filters were available only as permanently implanted devices. Now, there are newer filters, that may be left in place permanently or have the option to be removed from the blood vessel later.

The IVC Filter Module will enable physicians to enter and track the indications for which they are placing filters, the types of filters they are using, how frequently they are retrieving filters and any complications. They will be able to compare this information from their patients with the national aggregate.

“By tracking specific aspects of the IVC filter practice nationally, physicians will get a better idea of how IVC filters are being used, determine their complications and filter retrieval rates, and compare these aspects of their practices to the experience of other physicians,” says John Rectenwald, MD, Assistant Professor of Vascular Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, and Chair of the IVC Filter Module of the AVR.

“The IVC Filter Module is launching at an extremely appropriate time as the FDA, doctors and patients are struggling with critical questions about who should get filters, how many retrievable filters are actually getting retrieved, and which filter designs are associated with complications,” said Brajesh K. Lal, MD, Chairman of the AVR, and Associate Professor and Chief of Vascular Surgery, Physiology & Bioengineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Vein Disease

Despite the medical advances of the past two decades, venous disease remains understudied and is severely underestimated for its effects on public health. Experts believe that at least 25 percent of the U.S. and worldwide population suffer from venous disease. In fact, chronic venous diseases affect more than 20 percent of the adult population and are more prevalent than coronary, carotid and peripheral artery diseases combined. Additionally, acute venous thromboembolism is the cause of more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Still, the care for these conditions is not standardized.

“Despite venous disease affecting such a large segment of our population, there has been no platform available to collaboratively evaluate our procedures and outcomes using common language. The AVR fills that important need” said Dr Lal.

About the American Venous Forum and the American Venous Registry

The American Venous Forum (AVF) is an international consortium of venous and lymphatic specialists dedicated to improving patient care. Its mission is to promote venous and lymphatic health through innovative research, education and technology. The AVF created the American Venous Registry to:

  • Standardize the collection and analysis of clinical information on venous disease
  • Identify practice patterns for venous disease diagnosis and treatment nationwide
  • Answer research questions prioritized by the AVF
  • Provide a real-time clinical practice tool to assist the practices of individual participating physicians

The Registry will be comprised of five modules; two have been launched and three are under development. Each module focuses on one particular aspect of venous disease and offers several clinical practice tools and the ability to run specific benchmarking queries in real time. The modules are:

  • Varicose vein module, which was launched in February 2011
  • IVC filter module, which is launching today
  • Stent module, which is scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2011
  • DVT thrombectomy/lysis module
  • Upper Extremity DVT module

For more information about the American Venous Forum, log on to http://www.veinforum.org

For more information about the American Venous Registry, log on to http://www.venousregistry.org

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Eileen Masciale
American Venous Forum
(631) 665-2163
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