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Int J Artif Organs. 2015 Apr;38(4):199-209. doi: 10.5301/ijao.5000395. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

The immune response to crosslinked tissue is reduced in decellularized xenogeneic and absent in decellularized allogeneic heart valves.

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2 Division for Cardiothoracic, Transplantation- and Vascular Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover - Germany.



The degeneration and failure of xenogeneic heart valves, such as the Matrix P Plus valve (MP-V) consisting of decellularized porcine valves (dec-pV) and equine glutaraldehyde-fixed conduits (ga-eC) have been linked to tissue immunogenicity accompanied by antibody formation. In contrast, decellularized allograft valves (dec-aV) are well-tolerated. Here, we determined tissue-specific antibody levels in patients after implantation of MP-V or dec-aV and related them to valve failure or time period after implantation.


Specific antibodies toward whole tissue-homogenates or alphaGal were determined retrospectively by ELISA analyses from patients who received MP-V with an uneventful course of 56.1 ± 5.1 months (n = 15), or with valve failure after 25.3 ± 14.6 months (n = 3), dec-aV for various times from 4 to 46 months (n = 14, uneventful) and from healthy controls (n = 4). All explanted valves were assessed histopathologically.MP-V induced antibodies toward both tissue components with significantly higher levels toward ga-eC than toward dec-pV (68.7 and 26.65 µg/ml IgG). In patients with valve failure, levels were not significantly higher and were related to inflammatory tissue infiltration. Anti-Gal antibodies in MP-V patients were significantly increased in both, the uneventful and the failure group. In contrast, in dec-aV patients only a slight tissue-specific antibody formation was observed after 4 months (6.24 µg/ml) that normalized to control levels after 1 year.


The strong humoral immune response to glutaraldehyde-fixed tissues is reduced in decellularized xenogeneic valves and almost absent in decellularized allogeneic tissue up to 4.5 years after implantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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