The European Blood Alliance (EBA) Tissue and Cells annual benchmarking exercise identified that in 2014, the heart valve (HV) discard rate in tissue establishments (TEs) run by EBA members was between 19 and 65%. Given this significant discard rate, a decision was taken to carry out a worldwide data-gathering exercise to assess the processing methodology in different TEs. In collaboration with the Foundation of European Tissue Banks, a questionnaire asking for the details on HV processing was sent to TEs worldwide. Nineteen questionnaires were received back from 15 European TEs and 4 non-European TEs. The data provided confirmed a significant discard rate of HVs with 43–50% of aortic valves and 20–32% of pulmonary valves being discarded in 2015. The causes of HV discard varied, with microbiology contamination, anatomical and medical reasons being the main causes. This data-gathering exercise highlighted significant variations in practice in different TEs including how donor suitability is assessed, critical timings for heart retrieval and processing, heart rinsing, HV decontamination protocols and methods of microbiological testing. To reduce the discard rates, there are several aspects of HV banking that could be validated and standardised. Here, we report the findings of this data-gathering exercise. We consider this a first step that will help lead to standardising HV banking.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Heart valves . Discard . Microbiology . Transplantation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10096-019-03577-0, hdl.handle.net/1765/118828
Journal European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases: an international journal on pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology, therapy, and prevention of infectious diseases
Citation
Zahra, S., Galea, G, Jashari, R., Petit, P, & de By, T. (2019). Significant variation in heart valve banking practice. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases: an international journal on pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology, therapy, and prevention of infectious diseases, 38(8), 1491–1498. doi:10.1007/s10096-019-03577-0