Influence of Rhythm and Anticoagulation upon the Incidence of Embolization Associated with Starr-Edwards Prostheses
The incidence of embolism following aortic and mitral valve replacement with Starr-Edwards prostheses has been analyzed and correlated with cardiac rhythm and anticoagulation. No embolism occurred in the aortic valve replacement group, regardless of use or nonuse of Coumadin. In the mitral group, the incidence of embolism during atrial fibrillation was approximately 1.7 times that during sinus rhythm. Coumadin prophylaxis was extremely effective. The incidence during non-anticoagulation was 40 times that during adequate anticoagulation, and seven times that during inadequate anticoagulation. Embolism occurred as late as 21 months after surgery, often shortly after termination of anticoagulation. Three of the four patients with emboli associated with bacterial endocarditis died. All nine patients with emboli not associated with infection survived, half without permanent sequelae.
- © 1967 American Heart Association, Inc.