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Viability of autologous fascia lata in heart valve replacements
  1. J. C. R. Lincoln1,
  2. P. A. Riley,
  3. A. Revignas,
  4. M. Geens,
  5. D. N. Ross,
  6. J. K. Ross
  1. National Heart Hospital and University College Hospital Medical School, London


    A histological and radioautographic examination of 11 autologous fascia lata heart valves used in man is described. There was a significant decrease, exponential with time, in the number of fibroblasts per unit volume (P<0·001). The collagen bundles were grossly disorganized and separated, suggesting a breakdown of the cross-linkage in the tissue. Redundant connective tissue on the surface of the valve cusp became oedematous and contained many trapped cells. A pseudoendothelium was formed within 10 days. Incorporation of tritium-labelled thymidine in the nuclei of the fibroblasts showed a sixfold reduction over 9 to 12 weeks following implantation, suggesting a failure of metabolism in these cells. The suitability of fascia lata for human heart valve replacement is discussed.

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    • 1 Correspondence to: J. C. R. L., Brompton Hospital, London, S.W.3

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