Whereas organs from donors must be removed almost immediately after death to maximize organ viability in the recepient, there is a slightly longer window for tissue allograft recovery. To determine the maximum safe interval after death within which bone allografts may be harvested for clinical use, an experimental model was devised using adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and duplicating cadaveric storage techniques. Allografts were procured at increasing time intervals after death. The grafts were then transplanted to 80 living SD rats, and the animals killed at 7 weeks to evaluate any increase in the risk of infection and bacterial colonization. None of the allografts procured within 48 h after death were colonized with bacteria, while 12% of grafts procured at 96 h and 50% of allografts procured at 1 week were colonized. The results suggest that it may be possible to extend the safe period within which cadaveric tissue may be procured for transplantation to up to 96 h following death, provided scrupulous measures to prevent and detect microorganism contamination are followed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine