Postmortem bacteriology of cadaver tissue donors: An evaluation of blood cultures as an index of tissue sterility

Octavio V. Martinez, Theodore Malinin, Phillip H. Valla, Alvaro Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Microbiological cultures were performed on the blood and bone marrow of 239 cadaver bone donors and 58 "beating heart cadaver" organ donors who had been asymptomatic of sepsis. The incidence of positive blood cultures was significantly lower among the "beating heart cadaver" donors (8.6%) as compared to other donors from whom tissues were excised up to 30 hr postmortem (38%). Microorganisms were isolated from the bones of 82 of 148 (55.4%) bone donors as well as from 36 of 53 (67.9%) "beating heart cadaver" donors who had negative blood cultures. The majority of microbial species recovered from the blood and bone marrow belonged to species normal to the skin microflora (coagulase-negative staphylococci, Bacillus and Propionibacterium species). Species of Clostridium were the second most common organisms isolated from the blood. Blood cultures alone were not useful as indicators of sepsis in cadaver tissue donors or as an index of the sterility of the tissues excised for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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