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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2005 Nov;130(5):1265-9.

Single-suture line placement of a pericardial stentless valve.

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Cardiac Surgery, Cliniche Humanitas Gavazzeni, Bergamo, Italy.



Implantation of bioprostheses in the supra-annular position with the single suture line was first applied by O'Brien to porcine stentless valves. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical performance of the Pericarbon Freedom stentless bioprosthesis (Sorin Biomedica Cardio, Saluggia, Italy) implanted in supra-annular position with the single-suture line technique. The single-suture approach for the Pericarbon Freedom stentless bioprosthesis is obtained by trimming away all the extra tissue of the valve inflow side and scalloping the outflow side.


Between February 2002 and August 2004, a total of 65 consecutive patients at our institution (48% male, mean age 69 +/- 12 years) underwent aortic valve replacement with Pericarbon Freedom stentless bioprostheses implanted with a single suture line. Most recurrent etiology was senile degeneration (80%). Pericarbon Freedom 25-mm and 27-mm valves were the most frequently implanted. Thirty patients had concomitant procedures (mainly coronary artery bypass grafting, 16 patients). Overall crossclamp time was 76 +/- 21 minutes.


All patients survived intervention. One patient died early of multiorgan failure (postoperative day 16). There were 4 early non-valve-related complications and no late complications at a mean follow-up of 491 +/- 270 days. Four patients showed trivial central prosthetic regurgitation at intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography; among these cases, only 1 was confirmed at 6-month transthoracic echocardiography. At postoperative echocardiographic assessment, mean pressure gradient for the 25- through 29-mm size group was 10.2 +/- 7.1 mm Hg, and peak pressure gradient was 18.1 +/- 12.3 mm Hg.


Our initial experience combined a well-established supra-annular implantation technique with the Pericarbon Freedom stentless bioprosthesis, a latest-generation pericardial stentless valve. The combination showed excellent results in terms of safety and reliability, although this technique required adequate experience. Clinical outcomes are similar to those obtained with other techniques, with satisfactory hemodynamic performance.

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