Tensile strength of human pericardium treated with glutaraldehyde

Hiromasa Yamashita, Shigeyuki Ozaki*, Kiyotaka Iwasaki, Isamu Kawase, Yukinari Nozawa, Mitsuo Umezu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We have reconstructed aortic valves using autologous pericardium treated with glutaraldehyde since April 2007. However, the strength of the human pericardium has not been confirmed. We compared tensile strength between glutaraldehyde-treated human pericardium and aortic valve leaflets with various degrees of calcification to determine their suitability for use in aortic valve reconstruction. Methods: We measured the ultimate tensile strength and elasticity of samples of glutaraldehyde- treated pericardia (n = 8), non-calcified (n = 12), calcified (n = 9) and decalcified (n = 21) aortic leaflets collected from 23 patients who underwent aortic valve surgery. Aortic valves were decalcified using a cavitational ultrasonic surgical aspirator. The pericardium was immersed in 0.6% buffered glutaraldehyde for 10 minutes and then rinsed three times for 6 minutes each in normal saline. Results: The ultimate tensile strength of the glutaraldehyde-treated human pericardium, non-calcified, calcified and decalcified leaflets was 10, 2.8, 1.0 and 0.8 MPa, respectively. Conclusions: The ultimate tensile strength of glutaraldehyde-treated human pericardium was 4 times higher than non-calcified leaflets, indicating its suitability for application to aortic valve reconstruction. Calcified leaflets were slightly stronger than decalcified leaflets. Thus, calcification can be removed without altering the tensile strength of valve materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-437
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic valve reconstruction
  • Autologous pericardium
  • Glutaraldehyde treatment
  • Mechanical strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Gastroenterology


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