Non-pledget commissural suture technique to avoid atrioventricular block.

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Here, we report our unique “non-pledget commissural suture technique” to avoid complete atrioventricular block during surgical aortic valve replacement, whereby all commissural stiches are made in a figure-of-eight fashion without a pledget. Then, standard stiches in a non-everting fashion are made using pledget sutures and a prosthetic valve is implanted at the supra-annular position. Among 152 evaluated patients, only five patients experienced complications, including three left bundle branch blocks, one postoperative pacemaker implantation, and one moderate paravalvular leak. Based on the high success rate, our technique may be a reasonable alternative for surgical aortic valve replacement.

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Authors: Shingo Kunioka, Kishu Fujita, Shizuko Iwasa, Hiroyuki Kamiya, Kenji Yamazaki, Hiroyuki Tsukui