Echocardiography can detect cloth cover tears in fully covered Starr- Edwards valves: A long-term clinical and echocardiograpic study

Y. Shapira, M. S. Fernberg, R. Hirsch, M. Nili, A. Sagie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The incidence of cloth cover tears in fully covered Starr-Edwards valves, as assessed by autopsy or repeat surgery, is approximately 1% per patient-year. However, no echocardiographic study has explored this phenomenon. This study was designed as a one-time observational study and aimed to explore the ability of two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography to identify cloth cover tears in 35 late survivors with 38 fully covered Starr-Edwards valves who had been operated on 20 to 24 years earlier. The hemodynamic profile, clinical status, and valve-related complications in this highly selected group of late survivors were also studied. Five patients also underwent transesophageal echocardiography. An elongated echogenic mass attached to the prosthetic valve cage and floating downstream was considered indicative of cloth tear. There were 16 patients with aortic valve prostheses, 16 with mitral valve prostheses, and three with double prosthetic valves. In six (17.1%) patients (four with aortic valve prostheses, two with mitral valve prostheses), an echogenic mass suggestive of cloth cover tear was detected, which was confirmed by transesophageal echocardiography in three patients. In two patients the echocardiographic finding was confirmed at surgery. The initial presentation of these six patients was endocarditis, possible embolism, unexplained dyspnea, and weakness in one patient each. Two patient were asymptomatic. There was no evidence of significant prosthetic valve malfunction in any patient. The transvalvular gradients were similar in patients with and without cloth cover tears. Echocardiographic findings highly suggestive of cloth cover tears are not uncommon and can be detected in the third postoperative decade in patients with fully covered Starr-Edwards valves. A prospective study to evaluate the clinical significance of an incidental echocardiographic finding suggestive of cloth cover tears in asymptomatic patients with these valve models is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Volume134
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Echocardiography can detect cloth cover tears in fully covered Starr- Edwards valves: A long-term clinical and echocardiograpic study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this