Extended durability of mechanical heart valves has been documented for many years. We describe a case of a ball-caged mechanical valve implanted 43.3 years previous to developing valve dysfunction. The patient presented with both prosthetic valve stenosis and insufficiency. This Smeloff-Cutter valve (Cutter Laboratories, Berkeley, CA) in the mitral position was dysfunctional due to lipid absorption, which resulted in ball variance and concomitant pannus growth prevented optimal seating of the ball in its cage. This is the longest length of time in which a Smeloff-Cutter mechanical valve has been originally implanted.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.06.124, hdl.handle.net/1765/22923
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Head, S.J, Ko, J, Singh, R, Roberts, W.C, & Mack, M.J. (2011). 43.3-year durability of a Smeloff-Cutter ball-caged mitral Valve. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 91(2), 606–608. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.06.124