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The preservation of the mechanical properties of venous allo grafts by freezing


, : The preservation of the mechanical properties of venous allo grafts by freezing. Journal of Surgical Research 27(4): 239-243

Stored venous allografts are potential alternatives to autogenous materials when the latter are unavailable for arterial replacement. Among the criteria necessary for utilization would be the preservation of hemodynamically favorable elastic properties. The effects of frozen storage on venous compliance (percentage volume change/mm Hg) and elastic modulus (dyn/cm2 .times. 106) of 40 canine jugular vein segments was studied. The veins were allotted to 2 experimental groups. Five from each group acted as controls. Vein segments [15] were frozen immediately with liquid N2(-196.degree. C) and stored at -70.degree. C (unprotected). Another 15 were pretreated with 15% DMSO [dimethylsulfoxide] and then frozen (DMSO). The veins were thawed by immersion in Hanks' balanced salt solution (37.degree. C) after either 1 or 24 h, or 1 wk. Compliance and elastic modulus were calculated from the volumetric responses to pressure of the vein segments mounted in a special saline-filled cylinder. There was a modest but statistically insignificant increase in compliance from initial control values of 1.9 .+-. 0.68 (unprotected) and 1.3 .+-. 0.44 (DMSO-treated) to 2.16 .+-. 0.29 and 2.04 .+-. 0.70, respectively, at 1 wk. The elastic moduli of the control groups (16.3 .+-. 4.5, unprotected; 22.6 .+-. 4.5, DMSO) were also indistinguishable from the frozen groups (13.5 .+-. 2.3, unprotected; 15.4 .+-. 3.9, DMSO). Short-term freezing preserves the important functional elastic properties of veins and this preservation is independent of the use of DMSO.

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