Long-term evaluation of orthotopically implanted stentless bioprosthetic aortic valves in juvenile sheep

David W. Ouyang, Christopher T. Salerno, Timothy S. Pederson, R. Morton Bolman, Richard W. Bianco

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17 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to develop a technically feasible and reproducible model for chronic evaluation of stentless bioprosthetic aortic valves implanted orthotopically using juvenile domestic sheep. This report summarizes the results of a study conducted to assess orthotopically placed 19-mm stentless aortic bioprosthetic valves. Twenty-seven juvenile sheep underwent aortic valve replacement. Standard cardiopulmonary bypass techniques were followed. The average cardiopulmonary bypass time was 73 min. No chronic anticoagulation was used. There were two deaths (7%) due to surgical complications. In the remaining 25 experiments, 11 animals (41%) died prior to the scheduled sacrifice on postoperative day 150. One early death occurred due to coccidiomycosis infection, one due to technical error, one due to pulmonary embolus, four due to prosthetic annular size disproportion, and four due to thrombi. The remaining 14 animals (52%) underwent left and right heart catheterization, angiography, echocardiography, and sacrifice after postoperative day 150. The average weight of the sheep at elective sacrifice was 60 kg (mean weight gain 12.5 kg). The average cardiac output for the sacrificed animals was 5.1 L/min. The mean velocity of blood across the aortic valve for the sacrificed animals was 317 cm/s and the mean pressure gradient was 26.2 mmHg. Two features suggest that this model may have broad application. First, we have demonstrated that it is technically feasible to evaluate orthotopically placed stentless bioprosthetic aortic valves in growing sheep. Second, the aortic root size of the juvenile sheep allows for implantation and evaluation of a human size aortic valve (19 mm). We believe that this model is reproducible and can be used to study stentless valve designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Aortic valve
  • Juvenile sheep
  • Stentless valve
  • Valve replacement

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