Since July 1985, cryopreserved homograft prostheses have been used for aortic valve replacement in 10 patients, aged 2 to 77 years, with active endocarditis. Five patients had positive bacterial cultures from excised valves, and all had clinical findings of uncontrolled infection while receiving appropriate antibiotics. Homograft valves (four) or valved conduits (six) were implanted for treatment of sepsis (6 patients), congestive heart failure (3) or recurrent emboli (1 patient), and complicating native (5 patients) or prosthetic valve (5) endocarditis. Staphylococci (6 patients), streptococci (3), and Candida (1) were infecting organisms. Preoperatively, Doppler echocardiography showed aortic regurgitation in all patients. At operation, 9 patients had gross vegetations, 9 had single or multiple abscess cavities, and 5 had pericarditis. Complex reconstruction of the aortic valve and annulus with homograft conduits was necessary in 6 patients (3 with previous aortoventriculoplasty). Two early deaths (ventricular failure, perioperative stroke) occurred. Mean follow-up of all operative survivors was 2.1 years (range, 0.6 to 3.6 years), and one late death resulted from arrhythmia. Homograft valve regurgitation increased in 1 patient, and 7 late survivors are asymptomatic. No patient has had recurrence of endocarditis. We conclude that cryopreserved homograft aortic valve/root replacement is an effective method for management of active endocarditis complicated by annular destruction.