Author(s): Heng WL, Seck T, Tay CP, Chua A, Song C,
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Abstract Established in 2008, the National Cardiovascular Homograft Bank (NCHB) has been instrumental in creating an available supply of cardiovascular tissues for implantation in Singapore. This article introduces its collaboration with Singapore General Hospital Skin Bank Unit. The procedure of homograft recovery, processing, cryopreservation and quality assurance are presented. Since its establishment, the NCHB has followed the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health Singapore and the American Association of Tissue Banks. A total of 57 homografts had been recovered and 40 homografts were determined to be suitable for clinical use. The most significant reasons for non-clinical use are positive microbiological culture or unsuitable graft condition. Crucial findings prompted reviews and implementation of new procedures to improve the safety of homograft recipients. These include (1) a change in antibiotic decontamination regime from penicillin and streptomycin to amikacin and vancomycin after a review and (2) mandating histopathogical examination since the discovery of cardiac sarcoidosis in a previously undiagnosed donor. Further, the NCHB also routinely performs dengue virus screening, for donors suspected of dengue infection. Cultural factors which affect the donation rate are also briefly explored. By 2010, 31 homografts had been implanted into recipients with congenital or acquired heart valve conditions. More than half of these recipients were children. Post-operative outcomes had been encouraging, with no report of adverse events attributed to implanted homografts.
This article was published in Cell Tissue Bank
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports