The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery

New engineering treatment of bovine pericardium confers outstanding resistance to calcification in mitral and pulmonary implantations in a juvenile sheep model.

PMID 25218528


To conduct a test of noninferiority for CardioCel (Admedus, Brisbane, Australia), a chemically engineered bovine pericardium over autologous pericardium treated intraoperatively with glutaraldehyde in a chronic juvenile sheep model of pulmonary valve (PV) and mitral valve (MV) reconstruction. We replaced the posterior leaflet of the MV and of 1 PV cusp with patches in ewes aged 10 months. There were 2 groups: CardioCel (n = 6) and control (n = 4). All valves were competent. Echocardiography was performed before euthanasia. The collected data were function, macroscopy, histology, and calcium contents. The primary end points were thickening and calcium content. All animals survived until sacrifice after 7 months. The valves had normal echo. The macroscopic aspect of the valves was excellent. Examination of the slides for both groups revealed a continuous endothelium on both sides of the patch and a layer of new collagen developed on both sides between patch and endothelium and interstitial cells and smooth muscle cell in these layers. The patch had not thickened but the 2 layers of new collagen for the PV showed a median thickening of 37% in the CardioCel group and 111% in the control group (P = .01), and for the MV a thickening of 108% and 251%, respectively, was seen (P = .01). The median calcium content in the PV was 0.24 μg/mg (range, 0.19-0.30) in the CardioCel group versus 0.34 μg/mg (range, 0.24-0.62) in controls (P = .20). In the MV it was 0.46 μg/mg (range, 0.30-1.0) in the CardioCel group and 0.47 μg/mg (range, 0.29-1.9) in controls (P = 1.0). In this growing lamb model the CardioCel patch allowed accurate valve repair at both systemic and pulmonary pressure. The mechanical properties of CardioCel after 7 months were preserved with a more controlled healing than the treated autologous pericardium and without calcification.