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Brussels, Belgium

Hechadi J.,Catholic University of Louvain | Gerber B.L.,Catholic University of Louvain | Coche E.,Catholic University of Louvain | Melchior J.,Catholic University of Louvain | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery

OBJECTIVES: Because of the limited availability of pulmonary homografts (PH), porcine stentless xenografts (SX) have been proposed as an alternative for pulmonary valve replacement in the Ross operation. However, it is unknown whether they have similar good long-term durability. Therefore, we compared mid-to long-term outcomes between those two right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) substitutes. METHODS: In 288 adults (>18 years) undergoing a Ross operation between 1991 and 2012, Freestyle® SX was used in 18 patients and a cryopreserved PH was used in 270 for RVOT reconstruction. Only patients with follow-up >2 years were included. According to the operative period, gender and age, 37 patients with PH could be matched with 17 SX patients. Clinical and echocardiographic follow-up were obtained. In a subset of patients (SX, n = 11 and PH, n = 25), a cardiac computed tomographic (CT) scan was performed to analyse graft calcification. RESULTS: The mean follow-up period was 8.2±4.0 (range 2-14.6 years). During this period, 3 patients died from cancer, 2 in the SX group and 1 in the PH group (P = 0.15). No patient needed RVOT reoperation. At follow-up, RVOT peak gradient was 21±5.9 mmHg in the SX and 16.3±8.7 in the PH groups (P = 0.07). Peak gradient >40 mmHg was observed in only 1 patient in the PH group. Mean RVOT regurgitation was 0.1±0.4 in the SX group and 0.8±0.6 in the PH group (P = 0.008). CT scan analyses showed progressive calcification mainly of the graft wall, while the valve remained relatively free of calcium. Patients with the SX presented significantly higher calcium scores than those with PH (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In adult patients having the Ross operation, calcic degeneration is observed in both the PH and the SX used as pulmonary substitutes. Calcification progresses more rapidly in the SX compared with the PH. In both grafts, calcifications affect mainly the wall, while the valve remains relatively free of calcium. As a consequence, both grafts show good and similar haemodynamic outcomes at mid-to long-term follow-up. The Freestyle® SX can be considered as an acceptable alternative for RVOT reconstruction when PH is not available. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved. Source

Jashari R.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Faucon F.,Laboratoire de Controle et dAnalyse S.a. LCA | Van Hoeck B.,European Homograft Bank EHB | De Gelas S.,Laboratoire de Controle et dAnalyse S.a. LCA | And 2 more authors.
Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy

Introduction: Cardiovascular allografts are systematically incubated in antibiotics for their decontamination, and the antibiotics are removed before allograft implantation. We studied the occurrence of antibiotic residues in allograft valves. Methods: 12 experimental allografts were analyzed in this study. The concentration of the residual antibiotics was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and the results were expressed as microgram per gram of allograft tissue. Results: The initial analysis showed that only vancomycin HCl and lincomycin HCl were retained in the allograft, whereas no traces of polymyxin B sulfate were detected in the tissue samples. Furthermore, the values found for the antibiotic residues in the extracted solution from the allografts were similar to the initial results: Vancomycin and lincomycin were detected in very low concentrations and no polymyxin B residues were observed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maximum daily doses for vancomycin, lincomycin and polymyxin B are 2.0, 1.8 and 0.4 g, respectively. The thresholds for reporting degradation products are 0.05% for vancomycin and lincomycin and 0.1% for polymyxin B. The residual values for the two detected antibiotics were largely below 0.05%. Conclusions: Antibiotic residues in the allograft valves do not present any risk for their recipients. Increased allograft resistance to infections is probably due to the retention of antibiotics in the tissue. © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Fan Y.-D.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Van Hoeck B.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Holovska V.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Jashari R.,European Homograft Bank EHB
Cell and Tissue Banking

To evaluate the efficiency of decontamination practice in European Homograft Bank (EHB), the data of the cardiovascular tissues received during recent 2 years were retrospectively analysed in this study. After initial assessment, the tissues were incubated in a 3-antibiotics' cocktail at 4-C for 20-48 h. The states of contamination were evaluated before and after incubation with the focus on the differences in donor type, tissue type, germ type and incubation time. Amongst 1,055 eligible tissues, 77.2% were hearts and 22.8% were arteries. 82.2% of the tissues were retrieved from the multi-organ donors (MOD), 15.4% from the recipients of heart transplantation (RHT) and 2.4% from the non-heart beating donors (NHBD). The initial contamination rate was 27.4% with a significantly higher incidence in arteries. The RHT tissues had the lowest contamination rate comparing to that of MOD and NHBD. Staphylococcus species was the major source of contamination. After antibiotic incubation, 76.8% of the contaminated tissues were disinfected, which was significantly higher for the hearts than the arteries. The RHT tissues had the highest decontamination rate than that of MOD and NHBD tissues. Propionibacterium acnes was detected in 48.1% of the remaining contaminated cases. The average incubation time of the Propionibacteriumpositive tissues was significantly shorter than that of decontaminated tissues. In conclusion, the current decontamination protocol of EHB is sufficient for most of the initially contaminated bacteria, whereas it is inadequate for Propionibacterium acnes. This may be related to the slow-growing nature of this bacterium and thereby the relative shorter antibiotic incubation time. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Jashari R.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Goffin Y.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Van Hoeck B.,European Homograft Bank EHB | Vanderkelen A.,European Homograft Bank EHB | And 5 more authors.
Acta Chirurgica Belgica

European Homograft Bank (EHB) has been selecting, preparing, storing and distributing the cryopreserved allograft valves in Belgium and some other European Countries since 1989. It was established in 1988 by a pathologist and the cardiac and vascular surgeons from Belgian and other European centres as an inter-university, international nonprofit association. Due to its neutral behavior and very high quality criteria, European Homograft Bank became one of the prominent heart valve banks in Europe and wider. It collaborates with the transplant coordination in donor selection as well as with the huge network of the implanting surgeons in Belgium and other European Countries. The EHB responsible discusses with the implanting surgeon the allograft selection on basis of the indication and the patients state of emergency. A total of 8.911 donor heart valves have been evaluated in EHB during the last 20 years. After selection, 5.258 allograft valves (1.996 aortic, 3.189 pulmonary and 73 mitral) were cryopreserved and stored in vapors of liquid nitrogen between 6 weeks and 5 years. A total of 4.516 allograft valves (1.391 aortic, 2.620 pulmonary and 48 mitral) were implanted in the left or right ventricular outflow tract for replacement of the diseased aortic or pulmonary valve and for mitral or tricuspid valve replacement or repair. In 1.380 cases the allograft valves were used for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction as part of the Ross- procedure, whereas in 668 cases the allograft valve served for replacement of the aortic valve for endocarditis. The most important indications for use of cryopreserved allograft valves were : important cardiac and valve malformation in children, female patients of child-bearing age with diseased cardiac valves, cases with contra-indication for anti-coagulation and the patients with severe endocarditis with septal or annular abscesses. Although the number of the donation increased by year, the available allograft valves in stock are still insufficient to respond to all the surgeons' request for different indications. Source

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