Post bending of the polypropylene flexible stent in mitral Hancock bioprostheses

M. Valente, U. Bortolotti, G. Thiene, E. Arbustini, A. Milano, A. Mazzucco, V. Gallucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The occurrence of stent post deformity was investigated in 38 consecutive, polypropylene flexible-stented Hancock porcine bioprostheses (PB) recovered from the mitral position because of early postoperative death or late tissue failure. The degree of deformity was assessed for each explant by calculating the triangular area obtained by projecting the apex of the stent posts on a plane and comparing it with the same area calculated for unimplanted PBs of comparable size. A significant stent deformity (reduction of the triangular area > 40%) was observed only in 6 PBs explanted because of tissue failure after a mean function time of 69.6 ± 28 months. In these PBs, scanning electron microscopy of the bare surface of the stent at the point of maximal flexion showed cracks 0.7-1 μm large, which represent the morphological substrate of the so-called "creep" of polypropylene. Inward stent post bending may occur after implantation in mitral PBs and when severe, it corresponds to a definite ultrastructural plastic deformity of polypropylene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-138
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • Polypropylene creep
  • Porcine bioprostheses
  • Stent deformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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