We have investigated whether preformed antibodies against xenoantigens bind to cellular elements remaining on porcine bioprosthetic valves after various methods of preservation. Fresh porcine valves treated with either acetone, 4% formaldehyde, or 0.625% glutaraldehyde, as well as an unfixed valve, were incubated with antiserum against porcine xenoantigens. This serum was prepared using the affinity purification method with porcine lymphocytes as the target. The valves were stained with secondary fluorescein-conjugated antibody against immunoglobulin M or immunoglobulin G and examined under fluorescent microscopy. Intense binding of immunoglobulin M to the endocardium was observed in the unfixed valve as well as in valves fixed in acetone and formaldehyde. Glutaraldehyde fixation eliminated binding of antibody. Binding was not noted within the connective tissue. No binding of antiimmunoglobulin G was noted on the endocardium of any of the sections. Examination of three glutaraldehyde-treated porcine valves explanted from the aortic position after 10 years in situ showed no immunoglobulin deposition. These results demonstrate the elimination of antigenicity to preformed antibodies in the endocardium and connective tissue of glutaraldehyde-preserved porcine valves. The findings may, in part, explain the poor performance of formaldehyde-preserved bioprosthetic xenograft valves in the past and support the use of glutaraldehyde as a preferred agent for preservation of bioprosthetic endovascular materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine