Fibrinolytic agents were administered for 13 episodes of thrombus formation on mitral or aortic valvar prostheses in 12 patients. The most common presenting features were pulmonary oedema (six cases) or arterial emboli (six cases). The diagnosis of thrombus formation was made by phonocardiography on the following criteria: (a) modifications of the prosthetic sounds (12 cases), (b) appearance of a valvar obstructive syndrome (10 cases). The treatment consisted of streptokinase (100 000 units/h after a loading dose, seven cases) or urokinase using either low doses (75 000 or 112 500 units/h, three cases) or moderate doses (150 000 units/h, three cases) for one to four days. Immediate complete regression of clinical and phonocardiographic anomalies was seen in eight cases. Incomplete improvement was seen in two patients, leading to operation: this was unsuccessful in one patient who had surgery on the third day, and was successful in the other on the 75th day. There were three failures leading to successful reoperative procedures in two patients and to an early death in the third patient suffering from acute myocardial infarction. One non-fatal haemopericardium was observed in a patient treated with streptokinase. No important side effect was noted during delivery in a pregnant woman. During subsequent follow-up, a recurrent episode of thrombus formation was observed in one patient, treated by fibrinolytic therapy with success. One patient had an operation for a valve replacement six months after fibrinolytic treatment because of non-thrombotic valvar dysfunction; the outcome was fatal. Six patients are alive and in good condition, with a follow-up of six months to five years.
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