Oral Use of Phenytoin to Reduce Calcification in Bovine Pericardium and Porcine Aortic Leaflets Implants in Rats


Braz. J. Cardiovasc. Surg.




Abstract Introduction: This study aims to test the effect of phenytoin as an inhibitor of the process of dystrophic calcification in bovine pericardium and porcine leaflets implanted in the subcutaneous tissue of rats. Methods: Isolated segments of biomaterials were implanted subcutaneously in young rats. The study groups received 500 mg phenytoin per kilogram of diet per day. After 90 days, samples were collected and quantitative calcification assessment by optical microscopy, radiological studies with mammography, and atomic emission spectrometry were performed. Results: Inflammatory reaction was a frequent finding in all groups when analyzed by optical microscopy. The calcium level assessed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry was significantly lower in the study groups using phenytoin compared to the control groups (control bovine pericardium group X=0.254±0.280 µg/mg; study bovine pericardium group X=0.063±0.025 µg/mg; control porcine aortic leaflets group X=0.640±0.226 µg/mg; study porcine aortic leaflets group X=0.056±0.021 µg/mg; P<0.05). Radiologic studies revealed a statistically significant difference between the groups treated with and without phenytoin (not only regarding the bovine pericardium but also the porcine leaflets). Conclusion: The results obtained suggest that phenytoin reduces the calcification process of bovine pericardium segments and porcine aortic leaflets in subdermal implants in rats; also, the incidence of calcification in bovine pericardium grafts was similar to that of porcine aortic leaflets.

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