Effect of aortic curvature on bioprosthetic aortic valve performance

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Department of Biomedical Engineering; Health Research Institute


Transvalvular pressure gradient (ΔP) after aortic valve replacement is an important surrogate of aortic bioprostheses performance. Invasive ΔP is often measured after transcatheter aortic valve replacement to exclude patient-prosthetic mismatch. However, invasive aortic pressures are usually recorded in the pressure recovery (PR) zone downstream of the valve, potentially resulting in ΔP underestimation compared to noninvasive measurements. PR was extensively studied in straight ascending aortas. However, the impact of various aortic arch configurations on ΔP has not been explored. PR was assessed in a pulse duplicating simulator at various cardiac conditions of cardiac output, heart rates and pressures. Three different aortic geometries with identical root dimensions but with different aortic arches were used: (1) curvature 1, (2) curvature 2, and (3) straight aortic models. Instantaneous pressure and peak ΔP measurements were recorded incrementally along the models for each cardiac condition. The models with aortic arches produced two distinct PR zones (after the valve and after the aortic arch), whereas the model without an aortic arch produced only one PR zone (after the valve). The trend of the pressure and ΔP curves for each model was independent of the cardiac condition used, but the individually measured pressure magnitudes did change with different conditions. In this study, we illustrated the differences in PR between distinct aortic curvatures and straight aorta. PR affects pressure and ΔP measurements. These effects are clear when recording aortic pressures by catheterization and echocardiography.

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Journal of Biomechanics