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A Brief about Bioprosthetic Valves

Apr 07, 2017

A Brief about Bioprosthetic Valves

In some people, a heart condition is caused due to faulty valves in the heart. These valves are responsible for the proper flow of blood in the ventricles and auricles of the heart, and defective valves can lead to severe medical problems in the patient known as valvular conditions. These defective valves can be replaced by mechanical or bioprosthetic valves. Presently, bioprothestic valves are preferred due to their ability to last longer and also because they are more similar to the natural valves present in the human heart.

Bioprosthetic valves have the ability to function very similar to that of natural valves since they are made from human or animal tissue mostly from cows or pigs. Even though bioprosthetic valves last longer, they do need certain procedures regularly to keep them in good condition. Depending on the material and the structure of the valve, bioprosthetic valves come in three types:

  1. Homograft: these valves are made from human tissue that is derived from the aorta of already deceased humans. Sometimes, one valve from a different region in the patient is implanted in another region, this is known as autograft.
  2. Xenograft or heterograft: these valves are obtained and made from animal tissue usually from the aortic valves of a pig or heart tissue from a cow. These valves are thought to be more durable.
  3. Stentless bioprostheses: usually all the artificial valves are sewn onto a stent for better functioning, but to avoid infections and other complications now a days stentless valves are being tried out.

The replacement of defective valves is important in people to prevent life-threatening situations. But in some cases, these valves may fail or lead to serious medical complications in the patient due to some underlying factors. The most commonly seen medical complications are infections at the site of the implantation, over reaction of the immune system of the patient due to the presence of a foreign material, tears in the valve and the tissue near it and accumulation of cells at the site of implantation leading to thrombosis.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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