The Red Kangaroo pericardium as a material source for the manufacture of percutaneous heart valves.


Axe Médecine Régénératrice, Centre de Recherche du CHU and Département de Chirurgie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : The kangaroo pericardium might be considered to be a good candidate material for use in the manufacture of the leaflets of percutaneous heart valves based upon the unique lifestyle. The diet consists of herbs, forbs and strubs. The kangaroo pericardium holds an undulated structure of collagen.
METHODS : A Red Kangaroo was obtained after a traffic fatality and the pericardium was dissected. Four compasses were cut from four different sites: auricular (AUR), atrial (ATR), sternoperitoneal (SPL) and phrenopericardial (PPL). They were investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy, light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
RESULTS : All the samples showed dense and wavy collagen bundles without vascularisation from both the epicardium and the parietal pericardium. The AUR and the ATR were 150±25μm thick whereas the SPL and the PPL were thinner at 120±20μm. The surface of the epicardium was smooth and glistening. The filaments of collagen were well individualized without any aggregation, but the banding was poorly defined and somewhat blurry.
CONCLUSIONS : This detailed morphological analysis of the kangaroo pericardium illustrated a surface resistant to thrombosis and physical characteristics resistant to fatigue. The morphological characteristics of the kangaroo pericardium indicate that it represents an outstanding alternative to the current sources e.g., bovine and porcine. However, procurement of tissues from the wild raises supply and sanitary issues. Health concerns based upon sanitary uncertainty and reliability of supply of wild animals remain real problems.


Heart valve,Kangaroo,Pericardium,TAVI,

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