This study sought to evaluate the use of tetrazolium salt XTT reduction as an indicator of valvular viability in a cryoprocessed porcine cardiac homograft model. The XTT tetrazolium assays was based on the metabolic reduction of Sodium 3'-[l-(phenylamino-carbonyl)-3,4-Tetrazolium]-bis(4-methoxy-6-nitro) benzene sulfonic acid hydrate. The relationship between XTT reduction and: (1) leaflet tissue with various weight (n=24); (2) morphometric evaluation (n=30); (3) cadaveric ischemic intervals (n=30); (4) freeze-thawing (n=30) has been studied. The measurement of XTT reduction were significantly correlated with the weight of cardiac leaflets, in the range of 30 to 180mg (y=0.015x-0.063; r=0.99). Compared to morphometry of valvular damage, the reduction of mitochondrial enyzmatic activity in cardiac leaflets was correlated with matrix cells without irreversible damage (r=0.89, P<0.005). The depletion of XTT reduction occurred dependent of ischemic time intervals. In general, freeze-thawing reduced more than 20% activity of mitochondrial dehydrogenase. We concluded that XTT tetrazolium assay is highly sensitive to determine valvular injury. The study demonstrated its potential for testing of cryopreserved cardiac valve.
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