Innova Children’s Heart Hospital moots the proposal

Children with congenital heart diseases will benefit with the concept of ‘homografting’

Permission to harvest the valve under the Organ Transplant Act is being obtained

HYDERABAD: A facility to harvest cadaver heart valves and use them to help children ailing with congenital heart diseases is to come up in city.

The Innova Children’s Heart Hospital at Tarnaka mooted the proposal and is in the process of seeking necessary permissions to set it up on the lines of eye banks.

According to hospital chairman and managing director, K.S.Murthy, approximately 10 per cent of the children with congenital heart diseases can be helped at a lower cost with the concept of ‘homografting’, wherein harvested valves can replace the abnormal ones among children.

Best option

Presently synthetic valves are used to correct the anomaly among children.

“In a way they are alien to body and also require use of anticoagulants for a lifetime apart from being costly. Since homograft involves a valve from human body, it is the best choice after the original and native valve,” he says.

Very few health centres in the country have adopted the concept and Dr. Murthy is working towards State’s first heart valve bank.

On the lines of other cadaver organ harvesting practices, his bank is to take the valves and ‘cryopreserve’ them for use when needed.

“From cadavers, we have to retrieve them in aseptic conditions within 24 hours of death. After dissection in a sterile laboratory, treatment with antibiotics and a series of tissue culture to ensure that they are free of bacteria or fungus, the same has to be stored in liquid nitrogen at a certain temperature,” he explains.

The suitability of valves depends on the recipient baby’s weight.


A typical homograft could cost around Rs.10,000 to Rs.12,000 against a expense range of Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 lakh required for synthetic valves, he points out.

Once done, homografting does not need any reintervention for eight to 15 years and the child can grow with no worries for parents or much dependence on medicine. Permission to harvest the valve under the Organ Transplant Act is being obtained.

The prevalence of congenital heart diseases has been estimated at eight out of every 1,000 live births and at least 10 per cent of them can be handled safely with the procedure, Dr. Murthy avers.