Document Detail

Thrombotic and bleeding complications of prosthetic heart valves.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3310938     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A review of articles published since 1979 indicates that thrombotic and bleeding complications account for about 50% of valve-related complications in patients with bioprosthetic aortic and mitral valves and for approximately 75% of the complications in patients with mechanical valves. Although compromised by lack of standard definitions and by variability in reporting and follow-up, the data suggest that the linearized rate of both thrombotic and bleeding complications in patients with aortic bioprostheses is approximately half that for aortic mechanical prostheses (2% versus 4%), but is approximately equal for both bioprostheses and mechanical valves in the mitral position (approximately 4%), and for mechanical and bioprosthetic aortic and mitral valves in combination. However, linearized rates for fatal thrombotic and bleeding events are two to four times higher in patients with mechanical prostheses. The adequacy of warfarin anticoagulation is the most important factor affecting thrombotic and bleeding complications in patients with mechanical valves and over shadows the dubious importance of other phenomena such as atrial fibrillation and left atrial thrombus. Short-term warfarin anticoagulation or the use of long-term platelet inhibitors, or both, do not appear to reduce the incidence of thrombotic complications in patients with aortic bioprostheses but increase bleeding. For mitral bioprostheses, the postoperative use of warfarin for three months or aspirin indefinitely is as effective in preventing thromboembolism as long-term warfarin. Acute prosthetic valve endocarditis is associated with a 13 to 40% incidence of thrombotic complications. Likewise, the recurrence rate of cerebral emboli is high (20-30%) in patients with prosthetic valves who are not anticoagulated. Bioprostheses are strongly preferred for women who wish to bear children; fetal wastage occurs in 25 to 30% of pregnant women with mechanical heart valves who receive either warfarin or heparin, or a combination of the two. Heparin, however, greatly increases the risk of maternal bleeding. In children, the efficacy of platelet inhibitors without warfarin anticoagulation is unproven; nearly all serious strokes occur when warfarin is omitted; and permanent disability from warfarin-related bleeding is rare. All prosthetic cardiac valves initiate coagulation and affect the dynamic equilibrium between activated procoagulants and endogenous anticoagulants. Warfarin is the only available oral exogenous anticoagulant.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
L H Edmunds
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Annals of thoracic surgery     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0003-4975     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. Thorac. Surg.     Publication Date:  1987 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1987-11-12     Completed Date:  1987-11-12     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  15030100R     Medline TA:  Ann Thorac Surg     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  430-45     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104.
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MeSH Terms
Anticoagulants / adverse effects*
Heart Valve Prosthesis / adverse effects*
Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
Thromboembolism / etiology*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:

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