Doppler echocardiography: application to the assessment of successful thrombolysis of prosthetic valve thrombosis.
Heart Valve Prosthesis
Mitral Valve Stenosis
Prosthetic valve thrombosis remains a significant problem despite anticoagulation therapy and advances in valve design. Thrombolytic therapy offers an alternative approach to valve replacement in patients with high surgical risk. In this article we discuss three cases in which Doppler echocardiography was used to confirm the diagnosis of prosthetic mitral valve obstruction and serially monitor the response of valvular hemodynamic measurements to thrombolysis with intravenous streptokinase. These cases illustrate how the Doppler technique, in addition to allowing the noninvasive diagnosis of prosthetic valve obstruction, is presently the ideal tool to follow serially the effect of thrombolytic therapy on prosthetic valve function.