Prosthetic Heart Valve Thrombosis

Prosthetic heart valve thrombosis is a rare but serious complication of a heart valve replacement procedure . The complication occurs when 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. This condition can be life-threatening. Seek medical attention right away if you think you have prosthetic heart valve thrombosis. Heart Valves With Prosthetic ReplacementsCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Causes

    Prosthetic heart valve thrombosis is thought to result from an interaction between components of blood and the prosthesis or blood flow in and around the prosthesis.

  • Definition


    Prosthetic heart valve thrombosis is a rare but serious complication of a
    heart valve replacement procedure
    . The complication occurs when 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. This condition can be life-threatening. Seek medical attention right away if you think you have prosthetic heart valve thrombosis.

    Heart Valves With Prosthetic Replacements

    BP00039 97870 1 heart valve.jpg
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam may be done.

    Images may need to be taken of your heart. This can be done with:

    • Echocardiogram
    • Fluoroscopy

    Your bodily fluid may need to be tested. This can be done with blood tests.

  • Prevention

    In people who have prosthetic heart valves, antithrombotic therapy is the best proven way to reduce the risk of prosthetic heart valve thrombosis.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of developing 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
    • Drugs such as contraceptives
    • 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

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty breathing while lying down
    • Swelling
    • Fatigue
    • Difficulty exercising
    • Chest pain, burning, or pressure
    • Nausea
    • Numbness
    • Loss of consciousness

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include: