Mechanical prosthetic valve dysfunction caused by pannus formation is rare. Pannus restricts movement of prosthetic valve leaflets, resulting in severe aortic regurgitation. We describe the case of a 77-year-old woman who presented to the emergency room with increasing dyspnea, ischemia, and shock secondary to mechanical aortic valve dysfunction. Transesophageal echocardiography showed a blockade of the leaflets of the mechanical aortic valve, with severe aortic regurgitation. She underwent emergent cardiac surgery for aortic valve replacement. Pannus formation should be considered as a potential cause of acute severe aortic regurgitation in a patient with a small-sized mechanical aortic prosthesis in the supra-annular position. On a pathological exam, extensive pannus was found on the ventricular side of the prosthetic valve, extending from the ring into the central orifice.
pannus, mechanical valve dysfunction, aortic valve replacement