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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v11.i34.30
21 pages

The Failure Modes of Biological Prosthetic Heart Valves

Jagdish Butany
Staff Pathologist, University Health Network/Toronto General Hospital; Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Richard Leask
institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto


Bioprosthetic heart valves have been used since the 1960s, starting with the use of homograft aortic valves obtained from human cadavers. Today prosthetic heart valves are used widely, and bioprostheses account for close to 40% of all heart-valve replacements. Although most bioprosthesis are still stented porcine aortic valves, the introduction of stentless valves and the increasing use of cryopreserved homograft valves has led to an upsurge of interest in bioprosthesis. There have been significant changes in the handling and fixation of porcine aortic valves; however, their modes of failure remain virtually unchanged, although many bioprosthetic valves now last for considerably longer periods. This article reviews the modes of failure of bioprosthetic heart valves.