Publication Date



The Texas Heart Journal





Publication Date(s)

June 2015





PubMedCentral® Posted Date


PubMedCentral® Full Text Version


Published Open-Access



Aortic valve/pathology/surgery, calcinosis/pathology/prevention & control, disease models, animal, pericardium/pathology/transplantation, rabbits, reconstructive surgical procedures/methods, time factors, transplantation, autologous, transplantation, heterologous


Pericardial calcification is detrimental to the long-term durability of valvuloplasty. However, whether calcification susceptibility differs between heterologous and autologous pericardium is unclear. In this study, we compared the progression of calcification in vivo between autologous and heterologous pericardium.

We randomly divided 28 rabbits into 4 equal groups. Resected rabbit pericardium served as autologous pericardium, and commercial bovine pericardium served as heterologous pericardium. We subcutaneously embedded one of each pericardial patch in the abdominal walls of 21 of the rabbits. The 7 control rabbits (group A) received no implants. The embedded samples were removed at 2 months in group B, at 4 months in group C, and at 6 months in group D. Each collected sample was divided into 2 parts, one for calcium-content measurement by means of atomic-absorption spectroscopy, and one for morphologic and histopathologic examinations.

When compared with the autologous pericardium, calcium levels in the heterologous pericardium were higher in groups B, C, and D (P <0.0001, P <0.0002, and P <0.0006, respectively). As embedding time increased, calcium levels in the heterologous pericardium increased faster than those in the autologous, especially in group D. Disorganized arrangements of collagenous fibers, marked calculus, and ossification were seen in the heterologous pericardium. Inflammatory cells—mainly lymphocytes and small numbers of macrophages—infiltrated the heterologous pericardium.

The autologous pericardium showed a stronger ability to resist calcification. Our results indicate that autologous pericardium might be a relatively better choice for valvuloplasty.



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