Prosthetic Heart Valves

Auto text: “Insert Prosthetic Valve”


  1. Identify the type of prosthesis and measure the external diameter of the outside sewing ring. Commonly used valves are the Hancock porcine and St. Jude prosthetic (bi-leaflet valve).
  2. Describe any tissue overgrowth of the sewing ring.
  3. For mechanical valves, note any asymmetry, notches, cracks or impairment in the motion of the components.
  4. For tissue valves, note any tears or perforations of the cusps or any impairment of cusp motion.
  5. Describe any vegetations, including color, site (surface of valve, sewing ring), size, consistency (firm, friable), and destruction of underlying material.
  6. Note calcific deposits and their locations.
  7. For tissue valves, submit a portion of the cusps. For prosthetic valves, submit tissue on the sewing ring adjacent to the valve. In cases of suspected endocarditis, order Gram and GMS stains in advance.

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