Use of multidetector-row computed tomography scan to detect pannus formation in prosthetic mechanical aortic valves
Obstruction of a mechanical aortic valve by pannus formation at the subvalvular level is a major long-term complication of aortic valve replacement (AVR). In fact, pannus is sometime difficult to differentiate from patient-prosthesis mismatch or valve thrombosis. In most cases cine-angiography and echocardiography, either transthoracic or transesophageal, cannot correctly visualize the complication when the leaflets show a normal mobility. Recent technological refinements made this difficult diagnosis possible by ECG-gated computed tomography (CT) scan which shows adequate images in 90% of the cases and can differentiate pannus from fresh and organized thrombus.