The modified Duromedics-Tekna bileaflet pyrolitic carbon mechanical prosthe
sis was reintroduced by Baxter in 1990. This report details the first case
of sudden leaflet fracture of a Tekna mitral valve five years after implant
ation, which was managed successfully by replacement with a St. Jude Medica
l mechanical prosthesis. The fracture had occurred transversely, with the f
ragments embolizing to the terminal aortic bifurcation and the left common
femoral artery. These were localized by computed tomography and removed two
days after valve replacement.