Use of a nonpledgeted suture technique is safe and efficient for aortic valve replacement

Damien J. Lapar, Gorav Ailawadi, Castigliano M. Bhamidipati, Mansher Singh, David Dare, John A. Kern, Irving L. Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The use of pledgeted sutures to secure the prosthetic valve to the annulus during aortic valve replacement is thought to decrease the incidence of paravalvular leak. We hypothesized that use of nonpledgeted sutures in aortic valve replacement would provide equivalent outcomes to those of a pledgeted suture technique. Methods: Between January 1995 and April 2009, a total of 802 patients (511 nonpledgeted, 291 pledgeted) underwent isolated aortic valve replacement, including 671 patients who underwent primary, isolated aortic valve replacement (412 nonpledgeted, 259 pledgeted). Preoperative risk, intraoperative findings, and postoperative complications, including operative mortality, were evaluated. Results: Operative mortalities in isolated AVR operations were similar at 2.5% and 3.1% (P > .66) for nonpledgeted and pledgeted groups, respectively. Paravalvular leak rates after aortic valve replacement were equivalent in nonpledgeted and pledgeted groups (0.8% vs 1.4%, respectively, P = .47). Reoperation for paravalvular leak was rare in both groups. Importantly, the nonpledgeted technique incurred significantly shorter aortic crossclamp time (58.1 ± 0.3 minutes vs 61.6 ± 0.4 minutes, P < .001) and cardiopulmonary bypass time (87.5 ± 0.8 minutes vs 90.3 ± 0.8 minutes, P = .02) than did the pledgeted technique. Conclusions: A nonpledgeted suture technique offers an equivalent alternative to the traditional use of pledgets during aortic valve replacement, with no increase in paravalvular leak rate. This nonpledgeted suture technique provides a time efficient and safe approach to aortic valve replacement operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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