Does glutaraldehyde induce calcification of bioprosthetic tissues?
GROUND: Glutaraldehyde has been said to be responsible in part for the calcification of glutaraldehyde-treated tissues after implantation in animals or humans. We investigated whether the origin of the tissue, autologous or heterologous, could have a more prominent role in the process of calcification. METHODS: Three-month-old sheep received sheep pericardial samples (n = 133) and human pericardial samples (n = 123) implanted subcutaneously. Samples were treated with 0.6% glutaraldehyde for 5, 10, or 20 minutes or 7 days and then rinsed thoroughly before implantation. Samples were then retrieved after 3 months. Calcium content was assessed by spectrophometry. RESULTS: The results show a low calcium content in the autologous group (mean 1.14+/-2.07) and a high calcium content in the heterologous group (mean 38.97+/-26). These results were the same regardless of the duration of the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Glutaraldehyde treatment (0.6%) does not play a significant role in the calcificati