Abstract

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement devices vary in leaflet material and in the height for which leaflets attach to the stented valve frame. Combinations of these features can influence leaflet dynamics, neo-sinus geometries, and fluid dynamics, thereby reducing or exacerbating the potential for blood flow stasis and leaflet thrombosis. To investigate these interconnected relationships, this study evaluated the effects of transcatheter valve leaflet type (porcine vs. bovine pericardium) and the leaflet-stent attachment height (low, mid, and high) on flow stasis and potential for leaflet thrombosis. Transcatheter valve models were manufactured and tested within an aortic simulator under pulsatile left heart hemodynamic conditions. Transvalvular hemodynamics, leaflet kinematics, and flow structures were evaluated by direct measurement, high-speed imaging, and two differing techniques of particle image velocimetry. Transcatheter valves with porcine pericardial leaflets were observed to be less stiff, exhibit a lesser resistance to flow, were associated with reduced regions of neo-sinus flow stasis, and superior sinus washout times. More elevated attachments of the leaflets were associated with less neo-sinus flow stasis. These initial results and observations suggest combinations of leaflet type and stent attachment height may reduce transcatheter aortic valve flow stasis and the potential for leaflet thrombosis.

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