The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1397
Prosthetic Heart Valves
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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      

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Title: Prosthetic Heart Valves
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