Guidelines for Sizing Pericardium for Aortic Valve Leaflet Grafts

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Abstract

Surgical repair of the aortic valve with the use of leaflet grafts made from pericardium has been shown to be a viable option, particularly in children, in whom valve replacement has strong disadvantages. We present guidelines for sizing treated autologous pericardium to fabricate a leaflet graft for single-leaflet replacement. Both our clinical experience and experimental evidence indicate that effective repairs are best achieved by use of a semicircular graft with a diameter 10% to 15% greater than the sinotubular junction diameter in diastole. We also provide a simple formula to allow adjustment of these guidelines to account for variations in valve geometry and tissue properties.

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