Thrombosis of mechanical cardiac valves: A qualitative comparison of the Silastic ball valve and the tilting disc valve

Mark T. Metzdorff, Gary L. Grunkemeier, C. Wright Pinson, Albert Starr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


A review of 817 mitral and aortic Silastic ball valve implantations with a follow-up of 3,554 total patient-years yielded only seven cases of valve thrombosis. Time-related risk was 0.4% per patient-year in the mitral position and 0.1 % per patient-year in the aortic position. Four of five mitral and one of two aortic ball valve thromboses were successfully managed by valve rereplacement. At least five of the seven patients presented with a prodrome (lasting at least 3 months) of symptoms of progressive heart failure and, occasionally, embolic episodes due to gradually increasing prosthetic stenosis by thrombus. This lengthy time course is in contrast to the more frequent rapid catastrophic thrombosis that occurs with the Björk-Shiley tilting disc valve. Recognition of the prodrome of Silastic ball valve thrombosis provides an opportunity for life-saving surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-53
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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