Heart, Lung and Circulation
Original Article| Volume 31, ISSUE 8, P1166-1175, August 2022

Immobile Leaflets at Time of Bioprosthetic Valve Implantation: A Novel Risk Factor for Early Bioprosthetic Failure

A Novel Risk Factor for Early Bioprosthetic Failure
Published:March 23, 2022DOI:


      The clinical implications of finding immobile leaflet(s) at the time of bioprosthetic valve implantation but with acceptable prosthetic haemodynamics are uncertain. We sought to determine the characteristics of such patients and their impact on outcome.


      Patients with immobile leaflet at the time of surgical bioprosthetic valve implantation were identified retrospectively by a systematic search of an institutional echocardiography database (2010–2020). Intraoperative echocardiograms were reviewed de-novo to confirm immobile leaflet(s) at the time of implantation. Cases were matched 1:2 to controls with normal bioprosthetic leaflets motion for age, sex, prosthesis position, prosthesis model, size, year of implantation, and pre-implantation left ventricular ejection fraction. Proportional hazards method was used to analyse the composite endpoint of stroke, valve thrombosis or re-intervention.


      Immobile leaflet at the time of bioprosthetic valve implantation were found in 26 patients (median age 71 ys 39% males) following tricuspid (n=13), mitral (n=11) and aortic (n=2) valve replacements; 96% received porcine prostheses; prosthesis size was 27 mm or larger in 92%. Immobile leaflet were recorded on intraoperative reports in 16 (62%) cases. It resulted in elevated gradient or mild-moderate prosthetic regurgitation in three (12%), but none led to immediate corrective action intraoperatively. At median follow-up of 21 (4-50) months, presence of immobile leaflet was associated with composite clinical endpoint of stroke, valve thrombosis or re-intervention (hazard ratio 6.8, 95% CI 1.8–25.2, p<0.01) compared to controls.


      Immobile leaflet immediately post-bioprosthetic valve implantation is frequently under-recognised intraoperatively and appears to be associated with early bioprosthetic dysfunction and worse clinical outcome.


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