This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Choosing between a prosthetic valve and a biological valve

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • the major advantage of mechanical over biological valves is their very low rate of failure. Their main disadvantage is thrombus formation

  • the major advantage of biological over mechanical valves is that long term anticoagulation is not needed. Their major disadvantage is the risk of structural deterioration over time because of leaflet degeneration and dystrophic calcifiication both of which are relatied to the position (mitral > aortic) and the patient age

  • "..The increasing confidence in bioprostheses, coupled with the increasing age of the patient population, is reflected in the increasing proportion of bioprosthetic valves, particularly pericardial valves, and the decreasing proportion of mechanical prostheses being implanted..."

  • risk of thromboembolism is on average 0.7% per year in patients with biological valves in sinus rhythm. Among patients > 65 years old undergoing primary aortic valve replacement (AVR) fewer than 10% of biological valves with require replacement for stutural valve deterioration over a 15 year period

  • a biological valve is the only option for patients who cannot take oral anticoagulants such as a young women planning to become pregnant


  • 1) BHF (factfile May 2009). Prosthetic heart valve.

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.