The increased understanding of right heart diseases has led to more aggressive interventions to manage functional tricuspid regurgitation (FTR). In some cases of FTR, prosthetic valve replacement is typically considered when concomitant organic components or significant geometrical distortions are involved in the pathology of the tricuspid valve. However, little is known of the performance of current devices in the right heart circulation. In this study, a novel in vitro mock circulatory system that incorporated a realistic tricuspid valve apparatus in a patient-specific silicon right ventricle (RV) was designed and fabricated. The system was calibrated to emulate severe FTR, enabling the investigation of RV hemodynamics in pre- and post-implantation of tri-leaflet tissue implant and bi-leaflet mechanical implant. 2D particle imaging velocimetry was performed to visualize flow and quantify relevant hemodynamic parameters. While our results showed all prosthetic implants improved cardiac output, these implants also subjected the RV to increased turbulence level. Our study also revealed that the implants did not create the optimal behavior of fluid transfer in the RV as we expected. Among the implants tested, tissue implant created the most dominant vortices, which persisted throughout diastole; its observed strong negative vortex could lead to increase energy expenditure due to undesired fluid direction. In contrast, both native valve and mechanical implant had both weaker vortex formation as well as more significant vortex dissipation. Interestingly, the vortex dissipation of native valve was associated with streamlined flow pattern that tended towards the pulmonary outlet, while the mechanical implant generated more regions of flow stagnation within the RV. These findings heighten the imperative to improve designs of current heart valves to be used in the right circulation.
Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 29, 2017
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