Investigation of a method for long-term preservation of the vascular allograft

Bulang He, Gabrielle Christine Musk, Zi Qin Ng, Helen Kershaw, Bastiaan DeBoer, Jeffrey M. Hamdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background/objective: During multiple organ procurement, blood vessels are routinely retrieved and stored in University of Wisconsin solution and then discarded after two weeks, if not used at organ transplantation owing to lack of a method for long-term preservation. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate a method for long-term preservation of vascular allografts in ethanol. Methods: Aorta and vena cava allografts were retrieved and stored in 75% ethanol solution for 12 months at 4°C. Four pigs were divided into two groups. A segment of aorta was excised and replaced by insertion of preserved aorta graft (Group A) or vena cava graft (Group V). The pigs were observed for six weeks. A laparotomy was performed and the vascular graft was harvested for histopathology followed by euthanasia at the end of study. Results: Three pigs recovered uneventfully, while one pig died from venous graft rupture in the third week after surgery. There was no aneurysmal formation or thrombosis in the grafts. Some calcification was seen over aorta allograft. On histopathology, the elastic pattern was almost normal, although the endothelial cells degenerated after preservation. After implantation, the formation of the endothelium cell-like layer was seen in both aorta and vena cava allografts. Conclusion: Vascular allografts were functional after preservation for 12 months. The vena cava grafts had much less wall calcification than the aorta grafts. Further studies are necessary to investigate vascular graft remodelling with a longer observation period after implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-576
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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