Heterotopic implantation of transcatheter tricuspid valve is a new treatment option for tricuspid regurgitation. Transcatheter tricuspid valves are implanted onto the cavoatrial junction in order to avoid the challenging task of anchoring the valve onto the complex tricuspid valve annulus. However, little is known about optimum extent of oversizing of the valved stent in a vena cava. In this study, we implanted valves of the same diameter onto the larger sized inferior vena cava (IVC) and a smaller sized superior vena cava (SVC). The valve in the IVC was oversized by 10.7% while the valve in the SVC was oversized by 21.6%. Finite element analysis was performed (i) to assess the strain on the nitinol stent during manufacturing and deployment; (ii) the stents were deployed in a patient-specific vena cava model and the intramural stress of the vena cava was calculated computationally. These valves were fabricated and placed in a silicone model of a patient-specific right atrium which was part of a mock circulatory system that emulated the patho-physiological flow rate and pressure of a patient with tricuspid regurgitation. Flow measurements were conducted by particle image velocimetry (PIV). It was found that the maximum crimping strain on the nitinol stent was 6.85% which was lower than the critical threshold of 10%. The maximum stress on the vena cava was located at the spot where the hooks met the wall. The maximum stress on the IVC was 0.5098 MPa while the maximum stress on the SVC was 0.7 MPa. The maximum Reynolds shear stress (mRSS) in the vena cava was found to be higher in the IVC than SVC with the highest mRSS being 1741 dynes/cm2 found in the region of high flow during the peak flow phase. The overtly oversized valve in the SVC did not cause flow disturbances and exhibited mostly laminar flows. The mRSS at the downstream of the vena cava valve and the middle of the atrium remained at low magnitudes. However, velocity fluctuations were high in the IVC in all the time points measured. In conclusion, oversizing the valve may assist anchorage; yet, careful consideration should be taken in choosing the extent of oversizing as it may lead to adverse effects.
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We gratefully acknowledge the support of a grant from Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 Project by the Ministry of Education, Singapore for this study (Transcatheter heterotopic valves to ameliorate tricuspid regurgitation). The authors thank Dr. Yeo Joon Hock, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for his guidance on and contribution to the design and fabrication of the valve leaflets.
Conflict of Interest
The authors have no conflict of interests.
Statement of Human and Animal Studies
No human and animal studies were involved in this study.
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