Double-crowned valved stents for off-pump mitral valve replacement

Ma, Liang ; Tozzi, Piergiorgio ; Huber, Christoph H. ; Taub, Steven ; Gerelle, Gabrielle ; von Segesser, Ludwig K.

In: European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 2005, vol. 28, no. 2, p. 194-199

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    Objective: An animal model has been designed to assess the feasibility of off-pump mitral valve replacement using valved stents. Methods: Glutaraldehyde-preserved homograft was sutured inside a prosthetic tube (Dacron). Then, two self-expandable nitinol Z-stents were sutured on the external surface of the prosthesis in such a way to create two self-expanding crowns for fixation. In adult pigs and under general anesthesia, the left atrium was exposed through a left thoracotomy and atrio-ventricular roadmapping was performed with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and fluoroscopy. The double-crowned valved stents were loaded into a delivery sheath. The sheath was then introduced into the left atrium and the valved stents was deployed in mitral position in such a way that the part in between the two stents was at the level of the mitral annulus. Intracardiac Unltrasound (ICUS) was used to assess the valve function. Hemodynamic parameters were gathered as well. Animal survived for no more than 3h after the valve deployment and gross anatomy examination of the left heart was carried out. Results: The mean height of the valved stents was 29.4±0.2mm, with an internal diameter of 20.4±1.0mm, and an external diameter of 25.5±0.8mm. The procedure was successfully carried out in eight animals. In vivo evaluation showed a native mitral annulus diameter of 24.9±0.6mm, and a mean mitral valve area of 421.4±17.5mm2. ICUS showed a mild mitral regurgitation in three out of eight animals. Mean pressure gradient across the valved stents was 2.6±3.1mmHg. Mean pressure gradient across the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) was 6.6±5.2mmHg. The mean survival time was 97.5±56.3min (survival time range was 40-180min). One animal died due to the occlusion of the LVOT because of valved stents displacement. Postmortem evaluation confirmed correct positioning of the valved stent in the mitral position in seven out of eight animals. No atrial or ventricular lesions due to the valved stents were found. Conclusions: Off-pump implantation of a self-expandable valved stent in the mitral position is technically feasible. Further studies will assess if this procedure is also feasible in humans