Artificial aortic valves tested by simultaneous recording of aortic and ventricular pressures

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REPLACEMENT of a diseased aortic valve with a valve prosthesis is now considered a standard cardiosurgical procedure.1, 2 Clinical results from the use of the currently available artificial valves are satisfactory, yet the valves are not ideal and new valves are being developed and tested.3–5 Although clinical success is the final proof of the competence of artificial valves, careful in vitro testing can help us to evaluate and to compare them better.

The various testing devices are used primarily for the testing of reliability and durability.6, 7 Most experimental setups are not so similar as to make comparison of results between different laboratories valid. We have used methods common in cardiac catheterization of patients with valvular heart disease,8–10 and have tried to evaluate whether or not these methods can be used in a simulated circulatory system for valve testing. Our goal was to define the constant characteristics needed for hemodynamic comparison of various artificial heart valves in a mock circulation. An additional stimulus for the study was the need for competent valves in the artificial hearts.

Material and Methods

The six types of artificial aortic valves (Fig. 1) that have been evaluated are the Gott leaflet valve, the teardrop discoid valve, the Starr-Edwards ball valve, the polyurethane leaflet valve, the pin teardrop valve, and the heavy Teflon discoid valve. The mock circulation used for valve testing was that designed by Dreyer, Akutsu, and Kolff.7 It consists of a pump driven by compressed air and a simulated circulatory system able to . . .



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