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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,632
Online ISSN 1827-191X
Neethling W. M. L., Cooper S. *, Van Den Heever J. J. **, Hough J. **, Hodge A. J.
From the Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Fremantle Heart Institute Fremantle, Western Australia
*Departments of Pathology and **Cardio-Thoracic Surgery University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Background. Bioprosthetic materials (human, bovine and porcine) are used in various cardio-thoracic repair and replacement procedures because of excellent performance and low thrombogenicity. These bioprosthetic substitutes fail due to degeneration and calcification. This study examines the morphology, tensile properties and calcification potential of kangaroo pericardium in vitro and in vivo.
Methods. Bovine (control tissue) and kangaroo pericardium, fixed in 0.625% buffered glutaraldehyde, were examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. A standard method was used for biaxial testing. Pericardial strips (10×5 mm) were implanted subcutaneously into male Wistar rats and retrieved after 4, 6 and 8 weeks and examined by Von Kossa’s stain technique and atomic absorption spectrophotometry.
Results. Histology revealed serosa and fibrosa cell layers in both tissues. Electron microscopy showed a densely arranged collagen matrix in kangaroo pericardium. Kangaroo pericardium calcified significantly less than bovine pericardium at 4 weeks (0.80±0.28 versus 21.60±4.80 µg/mg) at 6 weeks (0.48±0.08 versus 32.80±14.4 µg/mg) and at 8 weeks (2.40±1.20 versus 30.40±17.20 µg/mg), respectively.
Conclusions. Kangaroo pericardium has a densely arranged collagen matrix with a higher extensibility and significantly lower calcification potential. Therefore, kangaroo pericardium could be used as an alternative substitute in cardiac surgery because of its low calcification potential.