March 1979

Traumatic Cardiac Hemolytic AnemiaA Late Complication of a Starr-Edwards Mitral Valve Prosthesis

Author Affiliations

From the Branches of Molecular Hematology (Drs Weiss and Nienhuis) and Surgery (Dr McIntosh), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Clinical Center Blood Bank, National Institutes of Health (Dr Klein), Bethesda, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(3):374-375. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630400088032

Severe, traumatic, cardiac, hemolytic anemia developed in a patient nine years after mitral valve replacement with a Starr-Edwards model 6120 prosthesis. Cardiac catheterization failed to demonstrate a perivalvular leak or prosthetic malfunction. Transfusion on two occasions resulted in accelerated hemolysis and failed to maintain an appreciable elevation of the hemoglobin level. At operation, a perivalvular leak was found. Replacement of the valve led to complete resolution of the hemolytic problem. The case demonstrates that cardiac hemolysis may be a good indicator of valve dysfunction.

(Arch Intern Med 139:374-375, 1979)