Valve Replacement in Patients with Carcinoid Heart Disease: Choosing the Right Valve at the Right Time

Amit Korach, Simona Grozinsky-Glasberg, Joseph Atlan, Abeer Dabah, Karine Atlan, Ehud Rudis, Amir Elami, David J. Gross, Michael J Reardon, Oz M. Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: The prosthetic valve of choice in patients with carcinoid valve disease (CVD) remains controversial due to the limited life expectancy of patients with advanced-stage neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) on the one hand, and concerns regarding structural valve deterioration (SVD) on the other hand.

METHODS: The records of 17 patients (11 females, seven males; mean age 65 ± 11 years; undergoing 18 operations) with primarily right heart failure due to CVD were reviewed. All patients received somatostatin analogs perioperatively. Hospital and follow up data (acquired via direct patient contact and echocardiography) collected included baseline characteristics, procedural details, and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: The primary NET site was the ileum (n = 11), lungs (n = 2) and stomach, colon and appendix (n = 1 each). In one patient the primary tumor location could not be identified. Preoperative urinary levels of 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA; 61 ± 36 mg/24 h) and serum levels of chromogranin A (2926 ± 4057 ng/ml) were 10- and 50-fold greater than normal, respectively. A total of 23 valves was implanted: five tricuspid valve replacements (TVR; four tissue and one mechanical), TVR and pulmonary valve replacements (PVR; three tissue and one mechanical), and TVR and mitral valve replacements (MVR; one tissue and two mechanical). The 30-day mortality was 11% (n = 2). No patient experienced a carcinoid crisis. The mean follow up was 24 ± 21 months (range: 4-85 months). Four patients (receiving seven valves) developed SVD at 12, 14, 15, and 20 months after surgery, and all of these patients died. The actuarial four-year survival and freedom from SVD were 23 ± 14% and 43 ± 15%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The data acquired suggested that the main advantage of tissue valve prostheses, namely to avoid lifelong, intense anticoagulation, might be offset by accelerated SVD. The use of mechanical valves should be considered in CVD patients with a large primary tumor mass and persistent high urinary levels of 5-HIAA, and who are unresponsive to therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of heart valve disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Journal Article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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