Korean J Crit Care Med.  2011 Jun;26(2):101-104. 10.4266/kjccm.2011.26.2.101.

A Case of Fatal Mechanical Mitral Valve Leaflet Fracture Embolization: A Case Report

  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Cheongju Saint Mary's Hospital, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Chungbuk National University School of Medicine, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 3Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chungbuk National University School of Medicine, Cheongju, Korea. drcorazon@hanmail.net


The fracture embolization of a mechanical valve is a very rare but potentially fatal event that can cause acute severe valve regurgitation and subsequent decompensated heart failure. Generally, the mechanical valve is durable and semi-permanent. If this is not the case, bacterial endocarditis can occur. However, leaflet fracture embolizations related to mechanical failure may occur in the specific mechanical valve brands associated with the subjects own structural fragilities. In this case, we dealt with a case of fatal Edward-Duromedics mechanical mitral valve leaflet fracture embolization that had been implanted 20 years ago. The patient presented with severe acute heart failure and shock. Severe transvalvular mitral regurgitation and only one valve leaflet was observed in echocardiography. Although the emergency mitral valve replacement was performed under the diagnosis with valve leaflet fracture embolization, the patient was not resuscitated from systolic pump failure and died.


cardiogenic shock; heart valve prosthesis; mitral valve insufficiency; prosthesis failure

MeSH Terms

Endocarditis, Bacterial
Heart Failure
Heart Valve Prosthesis
Mitral Valve
Mitral Valve Insufficiency
Prosthesis Failure
Shock, Cardiogenic
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