BECAUSE of the still unresolved problem of thromboembolism associated with the use of the ball and disc valve prostheses, some cardiac surgeons have resorted to the use of the homograft aortic valve1-4 and either the pig5 or calf6 aortic valves for aortic valvular replacement. Recent encouraging reports on the results obtained in the use of both the homograft and the heterograft appear to justify their clinical application. Since it is rather easy to procure heterograft calf aortic valves of different sizes, a valve bank was established to make the valves readily available for aortic valvular replacement.
The purpose of this communication is to describe in detail how the aortic heterograft is prepared and how it is used for replacement.
Materials and Methods
—The heterograft aortic valves are obtained from calves ranging in age from 3 to 6 months with an average age of 4 months.