In-Vitro Investigation Of The Effect Of A Dysfunctional Bileaflet Mechanical Aortic Valve On Flow Characteristics In The Ascending Aorta
Saleh, Wael F.
Di Labbio, Giuseppe
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Heart valve replacement is still the optimal solution in young patients with severe symptomatic heart valve disease. In those patients, bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHV) are preferred to biological valves because of their higher durability. However, thrombus formation has been reported as a common complication following BMHV implantation despite a permanent anticoagulation therapy. Thrombus formation can lead to valve leaflet dysfunction, a lifethreatening event that requires immediate surgical intervention. This study aims to investigate the fluid dynamics downstream of a dysfunctional bileaflet mechanical aortic valve. A bileaflet ON-X mechanical aortic valve is used with different dysfunctional configurations. In this study, partially and totally blocked configurations of one of the leaflets is investigated relative to its orientation with the sinus of Valsalva. Time-resolved two-dimensional particle image velocimetry measurements are performed to investigate flow field characteristics in the ascending aorta in terms of velocity and vorticity fields and circulation. Vorticity and circulation in the aorta are significantly affected by the valve orientation with respect to the sinus of Valsalva.