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Thorax. 1979 Dec;34(6):746-8.

Intravascular haemolysis after valve replacement: comparative study between Starr-Edwards (ball valve) and Björk-Shiley (disc valve) prosthesis.


Seventy-four patients with single prosthetic valves (Björk-Shiley or Starr-Edwards) in the mitral or aortic position and 18 controls with rheumatic valvar heart disease were investigated for evidence of intravascular haemolysis. Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was used as the most sensitive indicator of haemolysis. Raised concentrations were found in a third of 39 patients with Björk-Shiley prostheses (mean 281 IU/l) and in all 35 patients with Starr-Edwards prostheses (mean 859 IU/l. Values were considerably higher in patients with Starr-Edwards prostheses and particularly in those with aortic prostheses (mean 927 IU/l). Eight out of 12 patients with haemosiderinuria had Starr-Edwards valves. Intravascular haemolysis was of little clinical significance in patients with Björk-Shiley prostheses, but some patients with Starr-Edwards prostheses became iron deficient as a result.

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