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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 103-113

Echocardiographic assessment of heart valve prostheses


1 Chair of Cardiology, Second University of Naples, Italy
2 Unit of Cardiology, Vincenzo Monaldi Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera di Rilievo Nazionale, Ospedali dei Colli, Naples, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Chiara Sordelli
Via della Gioventý 12 80059, Torre del greco (NA)
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2211-4122.147201

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Patients submitted to valve replacement with mechanical or biological prosthesis, may present symptoms related either to valvular malfunction or ventricular dysfunction from other causes. Because a clinical examination is not sufficient to evaluate a prosthetic valve, several diagnostic methods have been proposed to assess the functional status of a prosthetic valve. This review provides an overview of echocardiographic and Doppler techniques useful in evaluation of prosthetic heart valves. Compared to native valves, echocardiographic evaluation of prosthetic valves is certainly more complex, both for the examination and the interpretation. Echocardiography also allows discriminating between intra- and/or peri-prosthetic regurgitation, present in the majority of mechanical valves. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) requires different angles of the probe with unconventional views. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is the method of choice in presence of technical difficulties. Three-dimensional (3D)-TEE seems to be superior to 2D-TEE, especially in the assessment of paravalvular leak regurgitation (PVL) that it provides improved localization and analysis of the PVL size and shape.


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