Contamination of perfused donor kidneys by starch from surgical gloves

S. Moriber-Katz, S. Goldstein, D. Ferluga, S. M. Greenstein, A. S. Miller, A. B. Schwartz, S. Simonian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Starch induces a variety of inflammatory reactions in humans and may contaminate surgical procedures from surgical gloves. Using polarized microscopy and electron microscopy, the authors observed starch particles in renal perfusate and in glomeruli of perfused donor kidneys. Group 1 consisted of 10 unusuable kidneys handled with standard concern of glove sterility. Eight other kidneys (Group 2) were perfused with particular attention toward avoidance of starch contamination. The gloves were rinsed five times, and the cuffs were not dipped into the perfusate. Two kidneys (Group 3), deemed unsuitable for transplantation, were perfused for 24 hours with perfusate swished with unwashed sterile gloves. Group 4 consisted of five transplant biopsies performed within one week after transplantation. Perfusates alone were also circulated through the Waters Perfusion Machine continuously for 24, 72, and 188 hours with and without the use of gloves. The number of birefringent crosses were counted in each of 25 glomeruli per specimen. Group 1 displayed a mean of 1.8 birefringent crosses per glomerulus; Group 2, 0; Group 3, 5.3; and Group 4, 4.4. Groups 1 and 3 also exhibited birefringent crosses in peripheral renal vessels. Perfusate alone, handled without gloves, showed no birefringent crosses; by contrast, perfusate handled with gloves showed numerous birefringent crosses. The authors conclude that starch from surgical gloves can enter the perfusate and lodge in glomeruli and other sites of donor kidneys. Rinsing gloves five times and avoiding contact of the perfusate with the glove cuff effectively eliminates the contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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