Diamond Anniversary of Mechanical Cardiac Valve Prostheses: A Tale of Cages, Balls, and Discs

Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Oct;110(4):1427-1433. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.04.143. Epub 2020 Jun 26.


This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first aortic and mitral valve replacements using mechanical artificial prosthesis. The first caged-ball devices represented a milestone in cardiac surgery and in the treatment of valvular disease. The following decades witnessed a great evolution in mechanical valve technology providing, through frustrating complications and stimulating successes, more reliable models to be safely used in the clinical setting. This review pays tribute to pioneers of this field who made currently available the most advanced models of mechanical prostheses with extended records of durability and performance, to be used as reliable alternatives to biological devices.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Heart Valve Prosthesis / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans