The performance of the porcine bioprosthetic heart valve has been well characterized in terms of thrombogenicity, susceptibility to infection, and hemodynamic characteristics. There has been some concern about the frequency and mechanism of late dysfunction of this valve. To date, cases of valve failure have been progressive and gradual. We saw a case of acute, catastrophic, spontaneous failure of a porcine bioprosthetic heart valve. We suggest that in the differential diagnosis of acute aortic insufficiency acute spontaneous failure of a porcine aortic prosthesis be included.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1553-1554)