Author(s): Barron DJ, Khan NE, Jones TJ, Willets RG, Brawn WJ
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Abstract Heart valve allografts (usually referred to as 'homografts') have been used in cardiac surgery for over 45 years when they were amongst the first valves ever used. Today they remain an important part of valve replacement and reconstructive surgery, particularly in the field of congenital heart disease. There are currently seven tissue banks on the UK and Eire that procure, prepare and store these homografts for surgical implantation, currently providing around 700 grafts per year. This article reviews the history and applications of homografts and compares their performance and outcomes with current prosthetic alternatives. It also describes the processes of valve procurement and storage and describes their clinical applications, hopefully providing tissue bankers with the surgeon's insight into what is required. Homograft degeneration and the natural history of these tissues is discussed, together with future expectations and developments in homograft valve technology.
This article was published in Cell Tissue Bank
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics