The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Prosthetic Heart Valves
Subscribers: Log in to read full article.  Not a subscriber?  Subscribe or purchase article.

Prosthetic heart valves have been used effectively in patients with mitral and aortic valvular heart disease for more than 50 years, but no replacement valve developed to date is suitable for all types of patients.

MECHANICAL VALVES — The mechanical valve used most frequently today is a bileaflet valve. Mechanical heart valves are extremely durable; long-term studies have shown that structural valve deterioration is rare. They are thrombogenic and require lifelong anticoagulation. Valves in the mitral position have a greater risk of thromboembolism than those in the aortic position.1 Mechanical valves are preferred for younger patients (<60 years old) who have no contraindication to anticoagulation.

BIOPROSTHETIC VALVES — Bioprosthetic heterograft valves are made from the heart valves of pigs or from the pericardium of cows. Percutaneous aortic placement ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

Would you like to read the rest of this article?  Gain access below.

Subscriptions to The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics include:
  • Print version published and mailed biweekly (26 issues/year)
  • Unlimited online access to current and past issues (1988 - present)
  • Mobile App for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
  • FREE online per issue CME/CE
Purchase this article:
Title: Prosthetic Heart Valves
Article code: 1397b
 Electronic, downloadable article - $45
Gain access through your organization
Ask your librarian to consider an Institutional Subscription to The Medical Letter.
Recommend to your librarian