European Homograft Bank (EHB) in English

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Banking and Distribution of Cryopreserved Heart Valves and Large Arteries

The Heart Valve Bank European Homograft Bank (EHB) was set up in 1989 as a non-profit organization in order to respond to the growing request of cardiac surgeons for quality controlled Cryopreserved heart valve allografts (aortic, pulmonary, mitral).

Since 1991, EHB also prepares and distributes large arteries, namely ascending and descending aorta, aortic arch, aortic bifurcation, superficial femoral arteries, as well as the non-valved pulmonary bifurcation.

On May 11, 2015 EHB was taken over by the St-Jean Clinic asbl, as its integrated service and is located at the Méridien Site on Rue du Méridien 100, 1210 Brussels.

EHB is an authorized Cardio-vascular Tissue Bank in accordance with the European recommendations and Belgian legislation on Tissue Banking from 19 December 2008[FAGG/AFMPS nr. 14-0002 (heart valves) and 14-0003 (blood vessels); PEI authorization nr. PEI.B.04076.01.1 (heart valves) and PEI.B.04099.01.1 (vessels)].

EHB activity is based on the cooperation of a large international network of procurement and implantation centres. Namely, the human body material source is recovered by the organ transplant teams or collaborating tissue banks and sent to EHB for processing and preparation of allografts, their quality control, cryopreservation and storage. On basis of the demands of the implanting surgeons from those (and other centres) EHB selects, allocates and distributes the appropriate allografts for their patients, on basis of the medical indication, state of emergency of the patient and the availability of the allografts.

During 25 years of its activity EHB has distributed about 9.000 allografts (about 6.000 valves and about 3.000 arterial allografts) mainly in Belgian, French, Swiss and German implanting centres, but also in other destinations, such as Croatia, Great Britain, Greece Korea, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, etc. For over 25 years, thousands of patients worldwide have benefited from the allografts delivered by EHB.

The main objectives of EHB are:

  1. Supply of cardiac and vascular surgeons with appropriate valve and vascular allograft,
  2. Scientific collaboration activity in the field of transplantation of human tissues and cells,
  3. International and inter-tissue bank collaboration,
  4. Coordination of donor selection and tissue recovery for the preparation of cardio-vascular allografts of the international network of the hospitals,
  5. Training and teaching of the tissue banking professionals in the field of the cardiovascular tissue transplantation.

Protocol of Cardiovascular Tissue Banking

According to the requirements of the EU Directives, to the Belgian legislation and standards, and to the recommendations of the EATB, the Manager of Human Body Material is responsibility for the entire process of obtainment, tissue processing, storage and distribution of allografts.

Processing and quality control of the allografts


Dissection of the aortic and pulmonary roots, mitral valves and/or arteries as well as all steps of the processing are performed by appropriately trained medical and paramedical staff inside a vertical laminar flow clean-room Class A, background Class B/C. After macroscopic examination, competence testing and measurements, the tissues are decontaminated in a low temperature, low concentrated antibiotic cocktail during 40-48 hours.


Following decontamination, the tissues are cryopreserved using the dimethyl-sulfoxide (DMSO) as cryoprotecting solution. The pouches with the tissues are frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors according to a specific computer monitored program.

Quality control involves

  • Microbiology (before and after decontamination) :
    • Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria
    • Mycoses and yeasts
    • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (by indication)
  • Serology : Screening of the donor for transmissible diseases
    • Hepatitis B & C, AIDS, HTLV, Syphilis
    • Q- Fever (by indication), Coxsackie viruses  (by indication)
  • Histology : Pieces of the cardiac muscle (myocardium), aortic and mitral wall and mitral valve (hearts) and pieces of the arterial tissue are systematically tested histologically for exclusion of any infection or malignancy, as well as to detect any malformation of the valve/vascular tissue.

Curve of cryopreservation

Each tissue must have the registered cryopreservation curve, as to be able to document the requested quality.

Final validation

The manager of human body material (Medical Doctor), after having obtained all necessary tests, controls them for conformity with the regulation and quality requirements and validates the allografts for clinical application.


Site Méridien - Level 6
Phone: 02/225.94.51
Fax: 02/225.94.52

Opening hours of the secretariat

8h00-18h00 (from Monday to Friday). EHB is available by telephone 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. A duty system is arranged between its administrative and medical/paramedical staff members (Tel: +32 475/51.99.32).



Documents to download

The EHB protocols are based on the following regulatory and legal refrences :

Main Procurement and/or Implantation Centers


Onze Lieve Vrouw Ziekenhuis Aalst

Cardiovasculaire Heelkunde
Moorselbaan 164
B-9300 Aalst

Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen

Cardiale Heelkunde
Wilrijkstraat 10
B-2650 Edegem

Hôpital Erasme

Chirurgie Cardiaque
Route de Lennik, 808
B-1070 Bruxelles

Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc

Chirurgie cardiovasculaire
Avenue Hippocrate 10
B-1200 Bruxelles

Hôpital Universitaire Brugmann/HUDERF

Chirurgie Cardiaque
Place Van Gehuchten
B-1120 Bruxelles

Universitaire Ziekenhuis Brussel (VUB)

Cardiale Heelkunde
Laarbeeklaan 101
B-1090 Bruxelles

Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent

Cardiale Heelkunde
De Pintelaan 185
B-9000 Gent

Universitair Ziekenhuis Gasthuisberg, LSGT, KULeuven

Cardiale Heelkunde
Herestraat 49
B-3000 Leuven

CHU Liège

Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Domaine Universitaire du Sart Tilman
B-4000 Liège

Z.O.L. - St. Jan

Schiepse Bos 6
B-3600 Genk

CHR de Citadelle

Chirurgie Vasculaire
Boulevard du 12ème de ligne
B-4000 Liège

U.Z. Leuven, LSGT, KU Leuven

Herestraat 49
B-3000 Leuven

Clinique Notre-Dame

Chirurgie Vasculaire
Rue Basse Hermalle 4
B-4530 Oueye-Hermalles/Argenteau

HUDERF (Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola)

Chirurgie Cardiaque
Avenue J.J. Crocq 15
B-1120 Bruxelles

Clinique St.Joseph

Chirurgie Vasculaire
Rue de Hesbaye 75
B-4000 Liège

Heilig Hart Ziekenhuis

Cardiale Heelkunde
B-8800 Roeselare

Clinique Saint-Jean

Chirurgie Cardiaque et Vasculaire
Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 32
B-1000 Bruxelles


Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Nord Amiens

Département d'Anesthésiologie - Réanimation Chirurgicale "A"
F-80054 Amiens Cedex 1

Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nantes

Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Hôpital Laënnec
Boulevard Jacques Monod
F-44035 Nantes Cedex

Centre Hospitalier Régional, Hôpital Cardiologique de Lille

Chirurgie cardiovasculaire et cardiaque
Boulevard du Prof. J. Leclercq
F-59037 Lille Cedex

Hôpital Civil de Strasbourg

Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Place de l'Hôpital 1
F- 67091 Strasbourg Cedex

CH de Mulhouse

87, Avenue Altkirch
F-68100 Mulhouse


Universitätsklinikum Giessen
Herz- & Gefässchirurgie
Klinikstrasse 29
D-35392 Giessen

Kinderherzzentrum Giessen

Feulgenstr. 12
D-35390 Giessen

Klinikum Krefeld

Klinik für Herz- und Thoraxchirurgie
utherplatz 40
D- 47805 Krefeld

RWTH Aachen

Thorax-, Herz-, & Gefässchirurgie
Paulstrasse 30
D-52017 Aachen

Klinik der Universität zu Köln

Kerpenerstr. 62
D-50924 Koln

Herzzentrum Bodensee GmbH

UK Heidelberg


Hôpital Cantonal Universitaire de Genève

Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Rue Micheli-du-Crest 24
CH-1211 Genève 4

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne

Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Rue Bugnon
CH-1011 Lausanne

Kinderspital Zürich 

Klinik für Herz- & Gefässchirurgie
Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zürich

Kantonsspital St. Gallen

Klinik für Chirurgie
CH- St. Gallen

UniversitätsSpital Zürich

Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zürich

Stadtspital Triemli

Birmensdorferstrasse 497
CH-8063 Zürich

University Hospital Bern

Switzerland Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery
CH-3010 Bern

Cardiocentro Ticino

Cardiochirurgia Fondazione
Via Tesserete 48
CH-6900 Lugano

Hôpital de Sion CHCVs

Avenue du Grand-Champsec 80
CH-1950 Sion

Associated Laboratories

CEBIODI, Laboratoire Clinique Saint-Jean

Laboratoire de séro-virologie

(Laboratoire de Référence SIDA)
Hôpital Erasme
B-1070 Bruxelles

Service Francophone du Sang, Laboratoire d’Analyses Biologiques 

Rue du Fond du Maréchale 8/1
5020 Suarlée

LCA Laboratoires  de Contrôle et d'Analyse S.A.

Z.1 Researchpark 110
1731 Zellik

Département d'Anatomie Pathologique

UCL St. Luc
Avenue Hippocrate 10
B-1120 Bruxelles

Financial Aspects of Homograft Delivery

The prizes of the allografts (heart valves/arterial allografts) are fixed by the Ministerial Decree of 14 october 2009, fixing the prizes of the human body material).

Each year, on 1st of January the prizes are reviewed in basis of the Belgian national Health index.

Members of the Advisory Board

Dr. Michel HURNI, President Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Rue Bugnon
CH-1011 Lausanne
Prof. emer.  Willem DAENEN Populierenlaan 6
B-3210 Linden
Dr. Hélène DEMANET Chirurgie Cardiaque, HUDERFF
Avenue Jean Joseph Crocq 15,
B-1020 Bruxelles
Prof. Katrien FRANCOIS Cardiale Heelkunde UZ Gent
Depintelaan 185
B-9000 Gent
Prof. Inge FOURNEAU Vasculaire Heelkunde
Herestraat 49
B-3000 Leuven
Prof. André VINCENTELLI Chirurgie cardiaque
Boulevard du Prof. J. Leclercq
F-59037 Lille Cedex
Prof. Jean RUBAY Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Avenue Hippocrate 10
B-1200 Bruxelles
Prof. Robert VERHELST Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Avenue Hippocrate 10
B-1200 Bruxelles
Prof. Xaver- Franz SCHMID Klinikum Krefeld
Lutherpl. 40,
D- 47805 Krefeld
Prof. Hendrik VAN DAMME Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire
Domaine Universitaire du Sart Tilman
B-4000 Liège
Dr. Benoit HERMANS Clinique Saint-Jean
Bld. J. Botanique 32
B-1000 Bruxelles


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