Cardiothoracic Imaging|Articles in Press

Usefulness of cardiac computed tomography in prosthetic heart valve dysfunction


      • Cardiac computed tomography has a complementary role to echocardiography in patients with suspected prosthetic heart valve dysfunction.
      • Cardiac computed tomography allows better detection of pannus and pseudoaneurysm
      • Echocardiography is superior in detection of prosthetic thrombosis and cardiac computed tomography contribute in evaluation of leaflet's motion reduction in these cases.



      Prosthetic heart valve (PHV) dysfunction is a serious complication. Echocardiography remains the first-line imaging investigation to assess PHV dysfunction. However, the role of Computed Tomography (CT) scanning in this type of case has not been thoroughly studied yet.
      The objective of our study was to determine if cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) had a potentially complementary role to play alongside echocardiography in diagnosing the mechanism of prosthetic valve dysfunction.

      Methods and results

      This prospective cohort study was conducted on 54 patients with suspected PHV dysfunction. All patients underwent routine diagnosis work-up (transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography) and additional cardiac CT. Cardiac CT showed findings that were not detected by echocardiography in seven patients (12%) namely aortic pannus (5) and pseudoaneurysm (2). An underlying thrombus was detected by echocardiography and missed by cardiac CT in 15 patients (27%). However, in these thrombotic cases, cardiac CT contributed to the functional evaluation of leaflets.


      This study demonstrates that an integrated approach including transthoracic, transesophageal echocardiography and computed tomography is useful in patients with suspected PHV dysfunction. While computed tomography is more accurate in the diagnosis of pannus formation and periannular complications, echocardiography is superior at detecting thrombus.


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