Objective: Aortic valve repair is currently in transition from surgical improvisation to a reproducible operation and an option for many patients with aortic regurgitation. Our research efforts at improving reproducibility include development of methods for intraoperatively testing and visualizing the valve in its diastolic state. Methods: We developed a device that can be intraoperatively secured in the transected aorta allowing the aortic root to be pressurized and the closed valve to be inspected endoscopically. Our device includes a chamber that can be pressurized with crystalloid solution and ports for introduction of an endoscope and measuring gauges. We show use of the device in explanted porcine hearts to visualize the aortic valve and to measure leaflet coaptation height in normal valves and in valves that have undergone valve repair procedures. Results: The procedure of introducing and securing the device in the aorta, pressurizing the valve, and endoscopically visualizing the closed valve is done in less than 1 minute. The device easily and reversibly attaches to the aortic root and allows direct inspection of the aortic valve under conditions that mimic diastole. It enables the surgeon to intraoperatively study the valve immediately before repair to determine mechanisms of incompetence and immediately after the repair to assess competence. We also show its use in measuring valve leaflet coaptation height in the diastolic state. Conclusions: This device enables more relevant prerepair valve assessment and also enables a test of postrepair valve competence under physiological pressures.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery|
|State||Published - Jan 2019|
- aortic valve repair