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Haemolysis with Björk-Shiley and Starr-Edwards prosthetic heart valves: a comparative study
  1. S. D. Slater,
  2. I. A. Sallam,
  3. W. H. Bain,
  4. M. A. Turner,
  5. T. D. V. Lawrie
  1. Departments of Haematology, Cardiovascular Surgery, and Cardiology, The Royal Infirmary, Glasgow


    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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