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ASAIO J. 1994 Jul-Sep;40(3):M707-13.

In vivo evaluation of a trileaflet mechanical heart valve.

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Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratories, Texas Heart Institute, Houston 77225-0345, USA.


Design goals for a mechanical heart valve include duplicating the hemodynamic performance of the natural valve, eliminating the need for anticoagulants, and maintaining safety. The Lapeyre-Dassault (Dassault-Aviation, Paris, France) prosthetic valve, undergoing development, addresses these goals. The unique trileaflet design consists of a solid titanium ring and three leaflets. Prototypes of the valve fabricated with Delrin leaflets were implanted in the mitral position in six calves (70-90 kg). Four calves (Studies 1, 2, 3, 5) had long-term survival of 165, 158, 219, and 281 days, respectively. Two calves were killed, one on Day 37 and one on Day 39, after complications unrelated to the valve developed. In all calves heparin was given intravenously to maintain partial thromboplastin time at 1.5 to 2.0 x baseline for approximately 1 week. In Studies 1 and 2 full anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy was given (orally administered sodium warfarin to maintain prothrombin time at 1.5 to 2.0 x baseline, along with aspirin (1 g/day) and dipyridamole 400 mg/day). In Study 3, all anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy was discontinued at 1 month after implant. In Study 5, no anticoagulation therapy was given after the initial week of intravenous heparin; however, antiplatelet therapy was started on the fifth postoperative month and maintained until the study's end at 9 months. At 1, 2, 3, and 5 months, the mean plasma free hemoglobin level in the four long-term animals was 5.0 +/- 2.16, 6.0 +/- 3.83, 8.5 +/- 4.93, and 11.3 +/- 6.74 mg/dl, respectively. Hemolysis was not a problem. Valve performance during normal activity was excellent in all the calves, as evidenced by echocardiography and the overall appearance of good health. In the four completed long-term studies, left heart catheterization showed a mean valve pressure gradient of 11.57 +/- 1.26 mmHg and no apparent valvular regurgitation. Histopathologic examination of major organs showed no evidence of thromboembolic events. This study shows that the innovative design of this trileaflet valve performed well in initial in vivo testing, justifying further development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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