Percutaneous Heart Valve in the Chronic In Vitro Testing Model
The endeavor to create a percutaneous aortic valve dates back to 1965. Several researchers have tried to develop this project since that time. Our group started working on the development of a percutaneous heart valve for human use in early 1998.
We implanted the first percutaneous heart valve in animals in June of 2000 in Costa Rica. We have tested this newly designed valve for almost 2 years in a chronic in vitro testing model that consists of a closed circuit of plastic tubing connected to a reservoir and a pulsatile diaphragmatic pump (flow rates from 1 to 5 gallons per minute) that mimics the heart function. The liquid used is water combined with 30% glycerol to have the same viscosity of blood. The percutaneous valve is placed at the bottom of the 2600-mm water-glycerol column to be subject to a diastolic pressure of ≈200 mm Hg.
We have noticed no sign of deterioration and excellent hemodynamic profile. The valve is shown in the closed (Figures 1 and 2⇓) and opened (Figure 3) positions. The opening and closing of the valve is clearly seen in Movie I. A two-dimensional ultrasound of the valve is shown in Movie II.
Movies I and II are available in an online-only Data Supplement at http://www.circulationaha.org.
The editor of Images in Cardiovascular Medicine is Hugh A. McAllister, Jr, MD, Chief, Department of Pathology, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Texas Heart Institute, and Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Texas Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine.
Circulation encourages readers to submit cardiovascular images to the Circulation Editorial Office, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital/Texas Heart Institute, 6720 Bertner Ave, MC1-267, Houston, TX 77030.