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First aortic heart valve made of equine pericardium

Bielsko-Biała, October 2013

In the Centre for Cardiovascular Research and Development American Heart of Poland in Bielsko-Biała was performed innovative procedure of aortic valve replacement in aortic valve stenosis for a modern self-expanding aortic bioprosthesis 3f Enable - Medtronic made of equine pericardium. This modern valve is a chance for seriously ill patients, for whom classic surgical procedures are too risky. It is also advised for patients at increased risk of complication.

The innovative procedure was performed at the CCRD AHP in Bielsko-Biała by cardiologists under the leadership of Prof. Otto Dapunta from Clinic for Cardiology in Oldenburg.

Aortic bioprosthesis 3f Enable is a stentless biological valve made of equine pericardium that due to its construction allows for a physiological blood flow restoration and load distribution like it occurs in a natural valve, protecting as well coronary sinus. Equine pericardium provides durability and excellent hemodynamic properties of the aortic valve. The special design of the bioprosthesis (self-expanding nitinol wire) contributes to a valve standstill at the site of the implantation, thereby valve implantation is easier and less invasive.

In order to place the valve in a patient heart the incision can be smaller than it is used in a traditional heart valve replacement. The procedure requires also smaller number of stitches to attach the bioprosthesis to the aortic annulus of a patient’s heart.

Specialists from AHP performed a procedure in two patients with a massive aortic valve stenosis. The diseased valve was removed and then replaced with the biological heart valve that works like a natural human heart valve. Its modern design significantly reduces the time of implantation, and thus reduces the risk of complications after the surgery. After seven days, patients left the hospital in good condition and were lead for further rehabilitation to the AHP Health Resort in Ustroń.

In the work on creating a new heart valve took part specialists from Poland. First implantations were conducted in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantation in Krakow, led by Prof. Jerzy Sadowski and in the Department of Cardiac Surgery and Vascular Surgery in Gdansk, led by Prof. Jan Rogowski.

American Heart of Poland Group funded implantation of the innovative bioprosthesis acquiring for the purpose individual research grants. After succeed implantation we started the talks with representative of Ministry of Health Republic of Poland in order to refund this type of heart valve, what will contribute to the spread of these valuable treatments.

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