UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: prosthetic valve complication---paravalvular leaks

Keywords: prosthetic, valve, paravalvular leak, hemolysis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/3/2011 by Amal Mattu, MD
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Severe hemolysis/hemolytic anemia in a patient with a prosthetic cardiac valve suggests a paravalvular leak. In this condition, a portion of the valve becomes dislodged from the valve annulus. It can occur immediately after surgery or delayed if from endocarditis. Paravalvular leaks are more common with mechanic valves. Patients may also present with sudden pulmonary edema.

The treatment will focus on management of the pulmonary edema and prompt surgical repair.