When a segment of artery, killed by heat, formalin or glycerin is transplanted, it undergoes a rapid degeneration. Its muscle fibers disappear while the tissue of the host reacts by building a new wall of connective tissue. When the transplanted vessel has been preserved in a condition of latent life, no degeneration of the wall occurs, or the wall undergoes only partial degeneration. The muscle fibers can keep their normal appearance, even for a long time after the operation. It is, therefore, demonstrated that arteries can be preserved outside of the body in a condition of unmanifested actual life.
The best method of preservation consists of placing the vessels, immersed in vaselin, in an ice box, the temperature of which is slightly above the freezing point.
From a surgical standpoint, the transplantation of preserved vessels can be used with some safety. When the arteries were kept in defibrinated blood or vaselin and in cold storage, the proportion of positive results was 75 and 80 per cent., and this can probably be increased.