A Challenging Case of Mechanical Mitral Valve Obstruction.

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Prosthetic valve thrombosis (PVT) is a frequent complication with a mechanical valve that presents with symptoms of heart failure or thromboembolic episodes. A 45-year-old lady with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) complicated by a previous history of native mitral valve thrombus and mechanical mitral valve replacement maintained on warfarin presented with complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath (NYHA class 2). The initial lab showed a subtherapeutic international normalized ratio (INR) of 1.8. Transthoracic echo (TTE) showed severe mitral stenosis with a normal ejection fraction of 65%, elevated peak gradient of 34.5 mmHg, mean gradient of 23.7 mmHg, and pressure half time of 214 ms. Cine-fluoroscopic images revealed an immobile posterior mitral valve leaflet. She failed two trials of low-dose alteplase therapy during the hospitalization. Hence cardiac CT with contrast was done, which showed a small degree of pannus formation on the ventricular surface of the mitral valve ring and a small thrombus. Due to persistent immobility of the post mitral valve after two doses of alteplase and a cardiac CT scan concerning pannus formation, a multi-departmental decision was made to proceed with mechanical mitral valve replacement, following which she had a good recovery. Our case report depicts the importance of imaging study, like cardiac CT scan that can help distinguish thrombus (which has a lower Hounsfield unit, HU of

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