Prosthetic Heart Valve Thrombosis
Prosthetic heart valve thrombosis is a rare, but serious complication of a heart valve replacement procedure. A blood clot called a thrombus is attached to or near a prosthetic heart valve. This can obstruct blood flow or interfere with the function of the valve.
Prosthetic heart valve thrombosis is a medical emergency.
Heart Valves With Prosthetic Replacements
Factors that may increase your chances of prosthetic heart valve thrombosis include:
- Inadequate anticoagulant/blood thinning therapy after a valve transplant
- Prosthesis located at the mitral valve in the heart
- Atrial fibrillation
- Certain medications
- Cancerous tumors
- Systemic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, or inflammation and damage to various body tissues, including joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain
- Reduced cardiac pumping—possibly from heart failure
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
The first line of therapy is usually thrombolysis, which are medications that break up abnormal blood clots.
Anticoagulant medications are used to control clotting. Anticoagulation therapy may be used alone in people with small clots that are not obstructing the heart valve.
In some cases, surgery to replace the valve may be necessary.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Prosthetic Valve Thrombosis; PVT)
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Canadian Heart Research Centre http://www.chrc.net
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.ca
Anticoagulation overview. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113914/Anticoagulation-overview . Updated August 14, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Heart valve surgery. Mount Sinai website. Available at: http://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/surgery/heart-valve-surgery. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Prosthetic heart valve dysfunction. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T165492/Prosthetic-heart-valve-dysfunction . Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Roudaut R, Serri K, Lafitte S. Thrombosis of prosthetic heart valves: diagnosis and therapeutic considerations. Heart. 2007;93(1):137-142.