Surgical ligation or plication of the inferior vena cava in acutely ill patients with significant cardiopulmonary disease carries a high mortality. Intravenous interruption of the inferior vena cava by an intracaval umbrella-like device placed under local anesthesia has been performed in 15 patients with significant cardiac disease: 12 with chronic congestive heart failure and 3 with intractable heart failure and shock. There was one early death from heart failure and shock three days after caval interruption and three late deaths from congestive heart failure and one from ruptured sigmoid diverticulitis. The remaining ten patients are alive and well 2 months to 11½ months after caval interruption. There has been no further recurrence of pulmonary embolism.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.