Chemically determined mineral content of explanted porcine aortic valve bioprostheses: correlation with radiographic assessment of calcification and clinical data.
Bioprosthetic valve calcification is usually assessed pathologically by gross inspection, radiographic studies, and histologic examination. Quantitation of mineral content by chemical assay has not been reported for failed clinical valves removed from adults. In this study, calcium determination by atomic absorption spectroscopy was done on 52 removed porcine valves after routine pathologic examination, including specimen radiography done by a standard technique. Specimens included 31 valves with calcific primary tissue failure, two calcified (but not overtly dysfunctional) valves removed simultaneously with failed valves, 14 nondeteriorated valves obtained at reoperation or autopsy after long-term implantation, and five valves removed within 1 month after insertion. Chemically determined mineral content varied widely among patients and duration of function. Valves with calcific failure had 113 +/- 68 micrograms/mg calcium overall (mean +/- SD) after 36 to 156 months (mean 87) of function. Almost all dysfunctional porcine valves with radiographically demonstrated calcific deposits had greater than 34 and 67 micrograms/mg calcium for mitral and aortic valves, respectively. Nondeteriorated valves (implanted 8 to 145 months, mean 57) had 5 +/- 6 micrograms/mg calcium. Failed aortic valves had more calcium than failed mitral valves and valves with calcific stenosis more than valves with regurgitation caused by calcification with tearing. Correlation of semiquantitative radiographic grading with chemically determined valve mineral was good, indicating that radiographic assessment of calcification may be used reliably for clinical comparisons between valves.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association