An 84-year-old man presented 5 years after bioprosthetic mitral valve replacement with three months of worsening dyspnea on exertion. A new mitral stenosis murmur was noted on physical examination, and an electrocardiogram revealed newly recognized atrial fibrillation. Severe mitral stenosis (mean gradient = 13 mmHg) was confirmed by transthoracic echocardiography. Transesophageal echocardiography revealed markedly thickened mitral bioprosthetic leaflets with limited mobility, and a massive left atrial thrombus (>4 cm in diameter) (Fig. 1A, B, C, D and Videos 1, 2, 3 and 4). Intravenous heparin was initiated, and 5 days later, he was taken to the operating room for planned redo mitral valve replacement and left atrial thrombus extraction. Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography revealed near-complete resolution of the bioprosthetic leaflet thickening, and a mean mitral gradient of only 3 mmHg (Fig. 2A, B, C and Videos 5, 6 and 7). The patient underwent resection of the massive left atrial thrombus (Fig. 2D) but did not require redo mitral valve replacement. He was initiated on heparin (and transitioned to warfarin) early in the post-operative period, with complete resolution of dyspnea on exertion at 3-month follow-up. Bioprosthetic valve thrombosis is increasingly recognized as a cause of early prosthetic valve dysfunction (1, 2). This case illustrates that bioprosthetic valve thrombosis may occur years after valve replacement; therefore, any deterioration in a patient’s clinical status (new-onset dyspnea, heart failure or atrial fibrillation) warrants a thorough evaluation of the bioprosthetic valve with transesophageal echocardiography. In this case, initiation of anticoagulation obviated the need for redo mitral valve replacement.
Declaration of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this article.
This work did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector.
Written informed consent has been obtained from the patient.
Author contribution statement
Preetham Muskula and Rigoberto Ramirez wrote the initial manuscript draft. Michael Main served as senior author and revised the manuscript. A Michael Borkon revised the manuscript.
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