Glutaraldehyde (GA) and formaldehyde (FA) were shown to be released from 1 cm2 fixed pericard patches into 2-mL storage solutions after three 2-min washings in concentrations of about 1 mg/L. The cytotoxicity of these aldehyde concentrations on bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) was evaluated in vitro, by proliferation capacity, cellular ATP content, PGI2 release and cyclic AMP synthesis. Continuous incubation of BAECs with GA greater than 0.1 mg/L and FA greater than 0.5 mg/L resulted in a significantly inhibited proliferation and in an increase of the intracellular Ca2+ triggered parameters, PGI2 and cyclic AMP, up to three fold. This strongly suggests an aldehyde-induced inhibition of the plasma-membrane bound Ca2+-ATPase, an enzyme which normally maintains low intracellular Ca2+-level. From these findings there is evidence that aldehydes released from bioprosthetic valve tissue may contribute to the lack of endothelial cell coverage in human implants.