Despite improvements and advancements in surgical technique, paravalvular leaks (PVL) continue to present a challenge when caring for patients with prosthetic valve disease.1 Paravalvular leaks result from dehiscence of the surgical ring from the mitral annulus. Some theories suggest that uneven distribution of collagen fibers in the mitral annulus leaves the posterior mitral annulus without a well-formed fibrous structure, which may predispose it to recurrent mechanical injury that leads to PVL. The reported incidence of PVL is 2.2%.2 Risk factors associated with PVL include the presence of mitral annular calcification, infective endocarditis, active steroid use, and continuous surgical suturing, which poses a greater risk than an interrupted surgical approach.3 Risk of PVL varies by prosthesis type, with mechanical prostheses carrying a higher risk of PVL than bioprosthetic valves. Below are images of a 70-year-old male with severe mitral stenosis and pulmonary hypertension who had previously undergone mitral valve commissurotomy and subsequent mitral valve replacement with a bioprosthetic mitral valve. He presented to the hospital with pulmonary edema. Initial transthoracic echocardiogram showed depressed biventricular function with a dehiscence of the bioprosthetic mitral valve and a large eccentric posterior PVL, severe tricuspid regurgitation, and severe pulmonary hypertension. Transesophageal images in Figure 1 illustrate a significant posterior PVL with dehiscence of the prosthetic valve from the mitral annulus. The patient underwent closure of the paravalvular leak with two 18-mm Amplatzer ventricular septal defect occluders (Abbott) with excellent results and trace residual mitral regurgitation post closure ( Figure 2A, 2B ).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-9
Number of pages3
JournalMethodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • mitral annulus
  • paravalvular leak
  • prosthetic valve disease
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve/diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis/adverse effects
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation/adverse effects
  • Aged

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Paravalvular Leak'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this