Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Native and Prosthetic Valve Disease.Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med 2018; 20(1):6CT
Gastrointestinal bleeding with severe aortic stenosis was originally described in the 1950s by Heyde, although for years, the association was debated. Further discovery of mechanisms and the ubiquity and severity of acquired von Willebrand syndrome in the left ventricular assist device therapy have removed any doubts. At this time, gastrointestinal bleeding from intestinal angiodysplasia in patients with turbulence-related proteolysis of the highest molecular weight multimers of von Willebrand factor is now known to occur in patients with aortic stenosis, and also subaortic obstruction and associated mitral insufficiency in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, isolated mitral and aortic insufficiency, endocarditis, and in patients with prosthetic valve dysfunction, either from stenosis or insufficiency. The degree of loss of high molecular weight multimers correlates with lesion severity, and tests of von Willebrand factor function have been proposed as important biomarkers of the severity of valve dysfunction, including in-lab testing for paravalvular leak during transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Bleeding tends to recur after endoscopic or surgical therapy, but cardiac repair is curative in the great majority.