Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Preliminary animal model studies have indicated that porcine bioprosthetic valves can be recognized by the immune system. This report presents the results of a preliminary investigation on the implanted valves of 27 patients. While none of the 27 demonstrated an immune response to porcine serum proteins, five patients developed antibodies against the implanted valve leaflets. Cells were enzymatically eluted from a degenerated bioprosthetic valve and were classified by means of monoclonal antibodies. Although these cells were not found to be of T-lymphocyte lineage, they did express la determinants and had the morphologic appearance of plasma cells. We therefore conclude that some bioprosthetic valve dysfunction may be immunologically mediated.