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July 19, 1971

Diagnostic Features of Malfunction of Disk Mitral Valve Prostheses

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine, Division of Cardiology (Heart Station) (Drs. Stross and Willis) and surgery, Section of Thoracic Surgery (Dr. Kahn), the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 1971;217(3):305-308. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190030031006

The x-ray film of the chest, by giving clear evidence of incomplete closure of the disk valve, was diagnostic of prosthetic valve malfunction in two patients. Potentially lethal malfunction of a prosthetic disk valve can be treated successfully by operation if the diagnosis is made early in the clinical course. The medical history is helpful. The physical examination can lead to the diagnosis, but the results may be normal in the presence of valve malfunction. It may be possible to detect malfunction in the majority of instances by x-ray film of the chest and fluoroscopy, but if these studies are inconclusive when malfunction is suspected, cardiac catheterization and cineangiography should be done promptly.