Durability of pyrolytic carbon‐containing heart valve prostheses
Heart Valve Prosthesis
To assess abrasive wear of mechanical valve prostheses containing pyrolytic carbon components, we recovered at necropsy or surgery and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and surface profilometry eight prostheses. Seven were implanted for 30-85 (mean 50 months. Valves included DeBakey aortic (2), DeBakey mitral (1), Beall mitral (2), Bjork-Shiley aortic (1), Cooley-Cutter mitral (1), and Lillehei-Kaster (L-K) tricuspid (1). All carbon occluders had undetectable wear. Carbon cage struts had a superficial burnish. Metallic struts had insignificant wear marks. In contrast, a Teflon Beall Model 104 valve implanted for 34 days and similarly analyzed had considerable material loss from the cage struts. This study suggests that clinically important abrasive wear will not be a late complication of cardiac valve replacement with pyrolytic carbon prostheses.