This study was performed to evaluate the clinical feasibility of use of immunologically nontreated xenogenic valves, using a porcine-to-goat pulmonary valved conduit implantation model. Porcine pulmonary valve conduits were prepared with no specific immunological treatment and implanted in the right ventricular outflow tract of goats under cardiopulmonary bypass. The goats were assigned at predetermined intervals (1 day, 1 week, and 3, 6, and 12 months) as two animals for each interval. Echocardiographic examinations of the valves were performed before sacrifice. Upon retrieving the xenograft specimens, they were inspected visually and microscopically. Ten of the 12 animals survived the predetermined observation periods. Variable degrees of pulmonary regurgitation were the main findings on echocardiographic evaluations. On gross examination of the explanted specimens, all leaflets, except in one animal that prematurely died, were fairly well preserved. They were slightly shortened but free of thrombosis or vegetation. Aneurysmal dilatations of the anterior wall of the implanted pulmonary artery were observed in one of 12-month-survival animals and in another one of 3-month-survival animals. Microscopically, the three components of implanted xenografts (the pulmonary artery, valve, and infundibulum) were shown to be gradually replaced with host cells in time, while maintaining structural integrity. The nuclei of the donor tissue disappeared through pyknosis and karyolysis. In conclusion, immnunologically untreated xenogenic pulmonary valved conduits can be an alternative potential as valve substitutes with distinctive advantages of providing self-healing potential, despite a few problems observed in the current study such as occurrences of pulmonary regurgitation and sporadic cases of aortic aneurysm.
- Clinical feasibility
- Immunologically untreated valves
- Pulmonary valved conduit
- Valve substitutes