The long-term outcome of mechanical aortic and mitral prosthetic valve (A-PV, M-PV) dysfunction (PVD) remains a serious complication associated with high morbidity and mortality. We sought to evaluate the incremental diagnostic value of combined transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and fluoroscopy (F) in patients with suspected PVD. A total of 354 patients (178 A-PV, 176 M-PV) were imaged by TTE and F within 5 days of hospital admission. PVD was confirmed by transesophageal echocardiography, computed tomography, effective thrombolysis, or surgical inspection. PVD was confirmed in 101 patients (57%) with M-PV and 99 (55%) with A-PV. Regardless of the mechanism of PVD, TTE shows good sensitivity and specificity, with accuracy of 80% for M-PV and 91% for A-PV. F shows high specificity, but low sensitivity with accuracy of 68% for M-PV and 78% for A-PV. The integration of TTE + F significantly improved accuracy both for M-PV (83%) and A-PV (96%). At ROC analysis, the combined model of TTE + F showed the highest area under the curve for the detection of PVD compared with TTE and F alone (p < 0.001). In conclusion, in patients with a clinical suspicion of PVD, the combined model of TTE + F offers incremental value over TTE or F alone. This multimodality imaging approach overcomes limitations of TTE or F alone and provides prompt identification of patients who may require further imaging assessment and/or closer follow up.
Manuela Muratori, Laura Fusini, Sarah Ghulam Ali, Giovanni Teruzzi, Nicoletta Corrieri, Paola Gripari, Massimo Mapelli, Andrea Annoni, Gloria Tamborini, Mark G Rabbat, Gianluca Pontone, Francesco Alamanni, Piero Montorsi, Mauro Pepi