Implantation of a bileaflet mechanical heart valve (BMHV) continues to be associated with a risk of thromboembolic complications despite anti-coagulation therapy1. This has been attributed to the structurally rigid design of the leaflets and valve mechanics combined with an intricate hinge mechanism for the rigid leaflets. The lack of a built in compliance within the valve mechanics presumably leads to sharp stress gradients within the flow as well as a violent closure of the valve often associated with the audible impact of the leaflets to the housing, and a potential for momentary cavitation of blood in the wake of leaflet impact.

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