Comparison of Fibrinolytic versus Surgical Therapy in the Treatment of Obstructive Prosthetic Valve Thrombosis: A Single-Center Experience


  • Necip Ermis
  • Hakan Atalay
  • Hakan Altay
  • Muhammet Bilgi
  • Suleyman Binici
  • Alpay T. Sezgin



Objective: Prosthetic heart valve thrombosis (PVT) is a rare but severe cardiac condition. There are only a few data regarding comparison of the fibrinolytic and surgical approaches for the treatment of PVT. In this study, we compared the results of fibrinolytic therapy versus surgery in patients who presented to our institution with a diagnosis of obstructive-type PVT.

Methods: From January 2001 to August 2008 in our institution, 33 patients who met clinical and echocardiographic criteria for obstructive-type PVT were included in the study. Fifteen of these patients underwent fibrinolytic treatment with streptokinase, which consisted of an initial bolus of 250,000 U followed by 100,000 U/h. Eighteen patients were treated with surgery.

Results: The 2 groups had similar baseline characteristics, including New York Heart Association functional status, types and positions of prosthetic valves, international normalized ratio values, and presentation symptoms. Full hemodynamic success was achieved in 12 patients who underwent fibrinolytic therapy and in 15 patients in the surgery group. The mean (±SD) streptokinase infusion time was 17.8 ± 11.1 hours. Two major hemorrhages and 2 cases of systemic embolism were observed in the fibrinolytic group. The 2 groups did not differ with respect to mortality rate (P = .79). The duration of hospitalization was longer in the fibrinolytic group than in the surgery group (10.7 ± 6.6 days versus 6.9 ± 6.7 days, P = .045).

Conclusions: Although fibrinolytic therapy is generally recommended for the treatment of PVT for specific patient groups, our results suggest that it may be as efficacious and safe as surgery, depending on patient selection.


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How to Cite

Ermis, N., Atalay, H., Altay, H., Bilgi, M., Binici, S., & Sezgin, A. T. (2011). Comparison of Fibrinolytic versus Surgical Therapy in the Treatment of Obstructive Prosthetic Valve Thrombosis: A Single-Center Experience. The Heart Surgery Forum, 14(2), E87-E92.