Hemolysis associated with prosthetic heart valves: A review

Yaron Shapira*, Mordehay Vaturi, Alex Sagie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Hemolysis is one of the potentially serious complications of prosthetic heart valves. It is usually associated with either structural deterioration or paravalvular leak. Mild, compensated hemolysis associated with mechanical heart valves is not uncommon even in the current era. Severe hemolysis is rare, however, and usually reflects paravalvular leak. The use of transesophageal echocardiography-guided operative techniques may help prevent or minimize early postoperative paravalvular leakage. There is a gamut of available therapeutic approaches-medical, transcatheter, and surgical-to this complication and therapy should be tailored to the individual patient. Novel pharmacological agents include erythropoietin and pentoxifylline. Several reports described the feasibility of transcatheter closure of paravalvular leak with coils or devices, but their effect on hemolysis is unpredictable. Surgery remains the treatment of choice in severe cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-124
Number of pages4
JournalCardiology in Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Hemolysis
  • Paravalvular leak
  • Percutaneous closure
  • Prosthetic heart valve


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