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