PURPOSE: Aortic wall calcification is problematic in stentless porcine valves. We evaluated the possible anticalcification effect of photo-oxidation on the aortic wall portion of porcine stentless bioprostheses. A comparison with glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue was made. METHODS: Six Photofix and six Freestyle valves were implanted in juvenile sheep in pulmonary position. Valves were explanted after 3 or 6 months and examined macroscopically, by x-ray, light, and transmission electron microscopy. Calcium content was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. RESULTS: The aortic wall portion of all Photofix valves remained free from calcification, while the wall portion of glutaraldehyde-fixed valves calcified strongly, both after 3 and 6 months. Calcium content of the aortic wall portion was: 0.71 +/- 1.27 in the Photofix valves versus 10.78 +/- 77.22 in the Freestyle valves (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Photo-oxidation of a porcine stentless valve prevents calcification not only in the cusps but also in the aortic wall portion.