Patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may suffer severe clinical complications, caused by paravalvular leakage (PVL) which is defined as leakage between TAVR and aortic annulus. PVL is often facilitated by a severely calcified annulus. This limits the expansion of a self-expandable TAVR stent. To assess TAVR performance in terms of leakage, measurement of regurgitation fraction in a pathophysiological annulus is recommended according to ISO 5840. For this purpose, a configuration of a circular annulus with a calcification nodule has been proposed in the recently published ISO 5840. The impact of the proposed pathophysiological annulus model on the expansion of self-expandable TAVR stents and on the regurgitation fraction was investigated in this study. For this purpose, two commercially available selfexpandable TAVRs (Evolut R and Portico) were implanted in a calcified annulus model. Circular expansion of the TAVR stents was investigated based on μCT scans of the implanted TAVR. The calcification-induced area in which retrograde flow can occur during diastole was detected. These results were then compared with the experimentally determined regurgitation fraction obtained from pulse duplicator tests. The results of the μCT scans showed a continuous leakage area in the region of the annulus for the Evolut R compared to a locally larger leakage area of the Portico, which, however, reattaches to the annulus in the distal inflow region. The hydrodynamic measurements confirmed a smaller leakage in the pathological annulus for the Portico. In summary, it can be assumed that a continuous leakage area in the TAVR stent inflow region encourages the PVL of TAVR.
© 2021 The Author(s), published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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