Background: Stuck mechanical heart valves had a debate about the management plan. There is debate regarding the type, dose, and rate of administration of various thrombolytic agents. We report a case with successful thrombolysis using an ultraslow regimen.

Case summary: A 43-year-old female with a history of aortic valve (AV) and mitral valve replacement (bi-leaflet metallic valves), and tricuspid valve repair (MINI band) at 10/2017. Physical examination showed normal metallic first heart sound and weak metallic second heart sound. Laboratory investigations were normal except low INR, hematocrit, and hemoglobin level ( 9gm/L due to iron deficiency anemia). Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) confirmed stuck aortic valve leaflet, with a high mean pressure gradient across prosthetic AV (34mmHg). The mechanical mitral valve was working well. Fluoroscopy showed stuck one of the AV leaflets in a closed position. The treating physician decided to give her the chance for thrombolytic therapy. This case was treated with ultraslow thrombolytic therapy (Alteplase, 1mg, every hour) with follow up transthoracic echocardiogram every 24 hours to check the pressure gradient on the AV. She was young, asymptomatic, and hemodynamically stable. After 48 hours of Alteplase, the stuck leaflet was released. The mean pressure gradient dropped to 16mmHg.

Discussion: Ultraslow thrombolytic regimen advised to be tried in stuck mechanical valves and hemodynamically stable patients.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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