Seminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery vol:11 issue:4 Suppl 1 pages:171-5
Calcification of stentless aortic heterografts still limits the use of these bioprostheses in young patients despite their superior hemodynamic profile. The No-React treatment is described as an anticalcification treatment for biomaterials. We compared the Biocor No-React treated stentless bioprosthesis with the routine glutaraldehyde-fixed Toronto SPV bioprosthesis in a juvenile sheep model. Toronto SPV or Biocor No-React valves were implanted in pulmonary position in juvenile sheep (n = 6). The valves were explanted after 3 months and analyzed by gross inspection, x-ray studies, histological examination, and transmission electron microscopy. The Toronto SPV valve showed calcification of the aortic wall portion at both the inflow and outflow sides of the valve. No significant calcification of the cusps was found by gross inspection or by radiographic or histological examinations. Calcification was visible with electron microscopy in cell remnants and between collagen fibers in the cusps. The Biocor No-React valve showed extensive calcification of the residual aortic wall portion that is contained in the valve. With x-ray and histological examinations, clear calcification of the pericardial wrap, largely replacing the aortic wall tissue, was seen. Calcification scattered throughout the cusp was seen by electron microscopy. We conclude that the Biocor No-React process did not prevent calcification of glutaraldehyde-fixed stentless bioprostheses in a juvenile sheep experimental model. Furthermore, replacement of a large part of the aortic wall by a pericardial wrap did not prevent calcification of the stentless valve "wall."