Patient-specific Fluid Simulation of Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement in Mitral Annulus Calcification

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Introduction: Transcatheter mitral valve replacement is a promising alternative to open-heart surgery in elderly patients. Patients with severe mitral annulus calcification (MAC) are a particularly high-risk population, where postprocedural complications can have catastrophic effects. Amongst these, obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract can lead to ventricular hypertrophic remodeling and subsequent heart failure, while subclinical valve thrombosis can result in early bioprosthetic valve failure.
Methods: To elucidate the mechanisms of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction and valve thrombosis following valve-in-MAC procedures, we used image processing and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software to generate patient- and device-specific models based on preprocedural CT data. Personalised computer simulations were performed to predict the left ventricular haemodynamics after implantation in three patients with severe MAC.
Results: The simulations have successfully captured the increased pressure gradient in the left ventricular outflow tract as a result of the partial obstruction due to the implanted valve. Regions of wall shear stress above the threshold value for platelet activation were also observed on the bioprosthetic frame as a result of the reduced outflow tract area, which led to increases in flow resistance and blood residence time inside the ventricle. Consistent with these findings, areas of slow recirculating flow and blood stasis formed near the valve frame, creating potential pro-thrombotic conditions.
Discussion: This study provides insight into the relationship between size and shape of the outflow tract post-implantation, pressure gradients and pro-thrombotic flow metrics such as wall shear stress and blood residence time. Results show the potential of CFD modelling to bring key functional metrics into preprocedural assessment for a comprehensive evaluation of post-procedural risks beyond anatomical factors. Following further validation and extension to the atrial chamber, this approach can provide an in-depth analysis of the likelihood of valvular thrombosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3615
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
Early online date15 Dec 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2022


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