SHORT-COURSE THROMBOLYSIS AS THE FIRST LINE OF THERAPY FOR CARDIAC VALVE THROMBOSIS

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Abstract

Objective:

To retrospectively evaluate the clinical and echocardiographic criteria of thrombolytic therapy for mechanical heart valve thrombosis.

Methods:

Nineteen consecutive patients with 22 instances of prosthetic heart valve thrombosis (14 mitral, 2 aortic, 3 tricuspid, and 3 pulmonary) were treated with short-course thrombolytic therapy as first option of treatment in absence of contraindications. The thrombolytic therapy protocol consisted of streptokinase (1,500,000 IU in 90 minutes) (n = 18) in one (n = 7) or two (n = 11) cycles or recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (100 mg in 90 minutes) (n = 4).

Results:

Overall success was seen in 82%, immediate complete success in 59%, and partial success in 23%. Six patients without total response to thrombolytic therapy underwent surgery, and pannus was observed in 83%. Six patients showed complications: allergy, stroke, transient ischemic attack, coronary embolism, minor bleeding, and one death. At diagnosis, 10 patients evidenced atrial thrombus by transesophageal echocardiography, 3 of whom experienced peripheral embolism during thrombolysis. Four episodes of rethrombosis were observed (16%). The survivorship was 84% with a mean follow-up of 42.6 months.

Conclusions:

A short-course of thrombolytic therapy may be considered first-line therapy for prosthetic heart valve thrombosis. The risk of peripheral embolism may be evaluated for the presence of atrial thrombus by transesophageal echocardiography at diagnosis.

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