Maintained geometry, elasticity and contractility of human saphenous vein segments stored in a complex tissue culture medium

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Improved maintenance of endothelial function and higher viability of saphenous vein grafts stored in a complex tissue culture medium (TCM) have been demonstrated. This article studies the biomechanical properties of saphenous vein segments. Design: Biomechanical properties of 72 saphenous vein segments remaining from coronary bypass grafting of 32 patients have been studied after different storage procedures. Materials: The materials studied included fresh segments, segments stored in a cooled conventional physiological salt solution (normal KrebseRinger (nKR)) for 1e2 weeks, segments stored in a cooled chemically defined TCM (X-Vivo) for 1,2,3 and 4 weeks and segments cryopreserved for a few weeks. Methods: Specimens were cannulated at both ends and pressureediameter curves were recorded in the 0e85-mmHg range in nKR with 10 μM norepinephrine added to induce maximum smooth muscle contraction, as well as in Ca2+-free medium to induce full relaxation. Tensile strength was checked at 300 mmHg. Distensibility, elastic modulus and active strain were computed. Results: Segments stored in nKR dilated morphologically, their distensibility decreased and they lost their ability to contract (1.5 ± 0.7% from 10.1 ± 1.5% of control) in 1 week. The TCM-stored segments preserved their contractility until 1 week, and this parameter only slowly decreased afterwards (first week, 11.5 ± 7.3%; fourth week, 3.9 ± 0.6%). There was a slight decrease in wall thickness but the lumen diameter was not affected. The elastic parameters of these segments were practically identical to those of fresh segments. Cryopreserved segments narrowed morphologically, their wall thickened and contractility diminished.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Contractility
  • Elasticity
  • Graft
  • Saphenous vein
  • Tissue culture medium
  • Tissue storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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