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December 1968

Preservation of Functioning Rabbit Hearts In Vitro: Preliminary Communication on a New Approach

Author Affiliations

Camden, NJ
From the Institute for Medical Research, Camden, NJ and the Harrison Department of Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Surg. 1968;97(6):947-953. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01340060125014

SHORT-TERM preservation of organs in a functional state is essential to allow adequate time for surgeons to match the tissues of the donor and the recipient. Most of the current research in organ preservation utilizes low temperatures with or without hyperbaric oxygen.

Most organs sustain irreversible damage at 4C after five to seven hours.1,2 Canine hearts for example will function after storage at 4C for seven hours. If, however, the hearts are left at 4C for over seven hours, they may regain rhythmicity on reimplantation but cannot take the circulatory load.1

The present study is particularly concerned with electrolytes and nutrients in the media used to perfuse mammalian organs stored in vitro.

Various tissue culture media have been devised in the past few years to support the growth of living cells for many generations in vitro.3 We utilized one of these media and after

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