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Hemolysis in Valvular Heart Disease

BERNARD PIROFSKY, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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University of Oregon Medical School
Portland, Ore.


Ann Intern Med. 1966;65(2):373-376. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-65-2-373
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In recent years, surgical procedures have been developed to correct various forms of heart disease by the insertion of prosthetic devices. A hemolytic anemia that unexpectedly resulted from these procedures has presented the physician with a new syndrome having profound clinical and theoretical significance. This hemolytic anemia was first noted in the human and in experimental animals after insertion of a Hufnagel ball-valve prosthesis (1, 2). It was assumed that direct action of the ball-valve on erythrocytes was responsible for erythrocyte damage and destruction. Hemodynamic disturbance with turbulence of blood flow was subsequently implicated by several investigators as being the

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