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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 47-51

Mechanical valve dysfunction in Yemen

Cardiac Centre, Al-Thawrah Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Sana'a University, Yemen

Correspondence Address:
A Al-Motarreb
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sana'a University, PO Box 89 Sana'a
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.73207

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Background: Rheumatic heart disease is the most common cardiac disease in Yemen. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Valve replacement is the most common open heart surgery procedure in our cardiac center. The use of mechanical valves remains burdened with serious complications such as thrombosis. Valve thrombosis is still associated with high mortality ] The reported mortality rate of the redo operation ranges from 8 to 20% and up to 37-54% in critically ill patients. Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate mechanical valve obstruction among Yemeni patients. Patients and Methods: Between January 2003 and April 2007, 2794 patients underwent prosthetic valve replacement in our center, Al-Thawra Hospital. Of those patients, 129 (4.6%) underwent reoperation for te obstructive mechanical valve. Patients with clinical suspicion of prosthetic valve obstruction (PVO) were admitted emergently to the CCU and the diagnosis was confirmed with echocardiography. All patients had heart failure; 95% of them were in NYHA class IV. All were transferred directly from the CCU to the operating room. The mean age was 34.8 ± 13.4 years. Two patients received preoperative thrombolytic therapy that was not successful. Obstruction involved the mitral valve prosthesis in 47 (36.4%); the aortic prosthesis in 16 (12.4%) patients; both valves in 21 (16.3%) patients; mitral valve replacement with tricuspid valve repair in 22(17%); double valve replacement with tricuspid valve repair in 1 (0.8%); redo mitral valve replacement with aortic valve cleaning in 7 (5.4%) cases; aortic valve cleaning in 5 (3.9%) patients; mitral valve cleaning in 5 (3.9%); and 5 (3.9%) patients had redo mitral with aortic replacement. Results: The operations were performed urgently. The etiology of the obstruction was thrombus in 111 (86%), pannus formation in 4 (3%), pannus and thrombus in 6 (4.8%), vegetation in 7 (5.4%) patients, and interposition of suturing materials in 1 (0.8%) patient. The in- hospital mortality was 23/129 (17.8%). Conclusion: The incidence of prosthetic valve obstruction remains high in Yemen. The vast majority of the patients who are referred to our hospital come from remote provinces in the country where regular INR measurement is not readily available. For those who are living in areas without good medical care, certain measures are necessary to avoid this disastrous complication: (1) good patient education, (2) free INR testing and free anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin; and (3) use of tissue rather than mechanical valves.

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