For transplantation of viable aortic valves a period of preservation will generally be needed. To maintain cell viability during this preservation period valves can be stored in nutrient medium after sterilisation in an antibiotic solution. To obtain quantitative data about the survival of aortic valve fibroblasts after preservation, we determined the number of viable fibroblasts in canine aortic valves after several weeks of preservation. The results shows that after storage of 1 week in nutrient medium cell survival is about 80%, after 2 weeks cell survival has declined substantially, while after 3 weeks survival is already unacceptably low. Storage for periods over 4 weeks results in almost completely non-viable aortic valves. These results show that only valves preserved for 1 to 2 weeks in nutrient medium can be considered as viable aortic valves.

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Cardiovascular Research

Mochtar, B., van der Kamp, A., Roza-de Jongh, E., & Nauta, J. (1984). Cell survival in canine aortic heart valves stored in nutrient medium. Cardiovascular Research (Vol. 18, pp. 497–501). doi:10.1093/cvr/18.8.497