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J Heart Valve Dis. 1999 Jul;8(4):359-66; discussion 366-7.

Mitral valve replacement with a pulmonary autograft: initial experience.

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  • 1Damascus University Cardiovascular Surgical Center, Syria.



For long-term substitution of the mitral valve, mechanical prostheses require life-long anticoagulation which is impractical in developing countries, xenografts degenerate early in our young population, and mitral homografts have not yet been established as being suitable. We therefore returned to an original concept first reported by one of the authors (D.N.R.) in 1967.


Between July 1997 and November 1998, 22 patients (mean age 40.3 years; range: 28 to 57 years) with rheumatic mitral valve disease unsuitable for reconstruction were subjected to excision of their pulmonary valve in the standard fashion of the Ross procedure. The inverted autograft was incorporated in a 2.5 cm-long Dacron conduit, with a pericardial collar attached to its proximal end. The distal end of the autograft-conduit was sutured to the annulus of the excised mitral valve, and the proximal end incorporating the pericardial collar was attached to the adjacent atrial wall. In this way all prosthetic material was covered. The right ventricular outflow was reconstructed with a pulmonary homograft in 17 patients, with an aortic homograft in two, and with a porcine pulmonary xenograft in three.


One patient developed a fatal cerebrovascular accident, probably related to an incorrectly placed pericardial collar with rough surface exposed to the blood flow. In a second patient the autograft had to be replaced six weeks after operation due to bacterial endocarditis contracted in the operating room. Echocardiography confirmed excellent function of the remaining autografts up to 16 months postoperatively (mean follow up 8.3 months).


We believe the pulmonary autograft to be a valid option for mitral valve replacement in our patients.

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