MECHANICAL prostheses, especially those of the caged-ball type, have enjoyed wide application in the replacement of diseased or defective heart valves. Despite a measure of immediate success attending the insertion of such devices, the long-term results and the occurrence of late sequelae have been such as to prompt the investigation of techniques for valve replacement employing autologous,1-3 homologous,4-6 and heterologous7-9 tissues. The encouraging clinical experience of Senning in the use of fresh autologous fascia lata for the fashioning of aortic valves3 indicated study of this material in the repair or replacement of atrioventricular valves. The special challenge associated with management of the tricuspid valve disease10 and the accessibility afforded to this structure by a simple laboratory method suggested the study herewith reported.
Adult mongrel dogs, 16 to 24 kg (35 to 53 lb) in weight, were anesthetized with thiopental sodium (30 mg/kg) and the