Effects of warm ischemia following harvesting of allograft cardiac valves

J. St. Louis, P. Corcoran, S. Rajan, J. Conte, L. Wolfinbarger, J. Hu, P. L. Lange, Y. N. Wang, S. L. Hilbert, A. Analouei, R. A. Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The clinical use of cryopreserved allograft valves is rapidlyincreasing. Viability of valve leaflet fibroblasts has been proposed to becritical to durability. Harvesting of allograft valves involves variablewarm ischemia times, defined as the time from cessation of donor heart beatto initial cooling for transport. This ischemic period has been implicatedas one of the more critical periods of injury to leaflet cell, even thoughadequate characterization of this potentially injurious phase has neverbeen accomplished. The present study was undertaken to characterize themetabolic response to warm ischemia in a porcine valve leaflet model. Valvehandling was similar to clinical valve harvest and transport protocols.Injury was assessed by protein (1H) and phosphorus (31P) magnetic resonancespectroscopy of 224 porcine semilunar valves. Leaflets were analyzed overtime for lactate accumulation and ATP degradation. A radiolabelledincubation assay (48 valves) was used to measure proline accumulation byfibroblasts. Electron microscopy was performed on 36 valves with varyingwarm ischemia times. ATP stores were entirely depleted after 2 h hypoxia (pless than 0.05). However, lactate continued to accumulate over 24 h.Although aerobic metabolism ceased after 2 h warm ischemia, anaerobicmetabolism continued for up to 24 h, which may represent an extended windowfor harvesting fresh tissue for allograft valve implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1991


  • Allograft cardiac valves
  • Fibroblast metabolic reserve
  • Homograft
  • Valve leaflet cellular viability
  • Warm ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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