Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021; 69(01): 083-091
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1697918
Review Article

Use of Pericardium for Cardiac Reconstruction Procedures in Acquired Heart Diseases—A Comprehensive Review

1  Section of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital, Pisa, Italy
Aldo D. Milano
2  Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
1  Section of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital, Pisa, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Background Reconstruction of cardiac structures has been the goal of many surgeons even before the advent of open-heart procedures with cardiopulmonary bypass. Unsatisfactory results with synthetic materials has switched the attention to biological tissues, among which pericardium, either autologous or of animal origin, has been widely used as patch material.

Methods We have reviewed the literature to assess the effective role of pericardial tissue in the correction of various acquired cardiac lesions. Particularly, special attention was given not only to established techniques but also to detect any peculiar and unusual application of pericardium.

Results Autologous pericardium is frequently used as patch material particularly when limited valvular lesions must be corrected, while xenograft pericardium appears particularly useful in patients with endocarditis and extensive destruction of the intracardiac structures by infection and abscesses. Pericardium is an extremely versatile material owing to its pliability and strength; however, it tends to calcify in the long term when in contact with blood, although stability of the repair is maintained in most cases.

Conclusions Pericardium plays an important role in various cardiac and aortic pathologies. Tissues resistant to fibrosis and calcification to be used as patch material are the ideal solution for more successful cardiac reconstruction procedures and will hopefully be provided by the ongoing research.

Publication History

Received: 17 May 2019

Accepted: 12 August 2019

Publication Date:
11 October 2019 (online)

© 2019. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany