Slater, S. D., Sallam, I. A., Bain, W. H., Turner, M. A., and Lawrie, T. D. V. (1974).Thorax, 29, 624-632. Haemolysis with Björk-Shiley and Starr-Edwards prosthetic heart valves: a comparative study. A comparison was made of the haemolytic complications in 85 patients with two different types of Starr-Edwards cloth-covered ball and cage prosthesis with those in 44 patients with the Björk-Shiley tilting disc valve. Intravascular haemolysis, as detected by the presence of haemosiderinuria, occurred significantly less often with the Björk-Shiley than with the Starr-Edwards valve, the overall incidence with aortic, mitral or multiple replacements being 31%, 15%, and 20% for Björk-Shiley and 94%, 92%, and 88% for Starr-Edwards valves respectively. There was no significant difference in the frequency of haemolysis between each of the two types of Starr-Edwards prosthesis studied at either the aortic (2300 versus 2310 model) or mitral (6300 versus 6310) site.
Haemolytic anaemia developed in only one patient with a Björk-Shiley valve but was common though usually mild with Starr-Edwards prostheses, particularly aortic valve replacements with the 2300 model and in aortic plus mitral (± tricuspid) replacements. The greater severity of haemolysis produced by Starr-Edwards valves, again especially of the latter types, was further demonstrated by higher serum lactate dehydrogenase and 24-hour urinary iron levels.
It is concluded that the Björk-Shiley tilting disc valve represents a significant advance in the amelioration of the haemolytic complications of prosthetic valves.
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