Ex vivo biomechanical analysis of flexible versus rigid annuloplasty rings in mitral valves using a novel annular dilation system. BMC cardiovascular disorders Zhu, Y., Imbrie-Moore, A. M., Wilkerson, R. J., Paulsen, M. J., Park, M. H., Woo, Y. J. 2022; 22 (1): 73


BACKGROUND: Mitral annuloplasty rings restore annular dimensions to increase leaflet coaptation, serving a fundamental component in mitral valve repair. However, biomechanical evaluations of annuloplasty rings are lacking. We aim to biomechanically analyze flexible and rigid annuloplasty rings using an ex vivo mitral annular dilation model.METHODS: Juvenile porcine mitral valves (n=4) with intercommissural distance of 28mm were dilated to intercommissural distances of 40mm using a 3D-printed dilator and were sewn to an elastic mount. Fiber bragg grating sensors were anchored to native chordae to measure chordal forces. The valves were repaired using size 28 rigid and flexible annuloplasty rings in a random order. Hemodynamic data, echocardiography, and chordal force measurements were collected.RESULTS: Mitral annular dilation resulted in decreased leaflet coaptation height and increased mitral regurgitation fraction. Both the flexible and rigid annuloplasty rings effectively increased leaflet coaptation height compared to that post dilation. Rigid ring annuloplasty repair significantly decreased the mitral regurgitation fraction. Flexible annuloplasty ring repair reduced the chordal rate of change of force (7.1±4.4N/s versus 8.6±5.9N/s, p=0.02) and peak force (0.6±0.5N versus 0.7±0.6N, p=0.01) compared to that from post dilation. Rigid annuloplasty ring repair was associated with higher chordal rate of change of force (9.8±5.8N/s, p=0.0001) and peak force (0.7±0.5N, p=0.01) compared to that after flexible ring annuloplasty repair.CONCLUSIONS: Both rigid and flexible annuloplasty rings are effective in increasing mitral leaflet coaptation height. Although the rigid annuloplasty ring was associated with slightly higher chordal stress compared to that of the flexible annuloplasty ring, it was more effective in mitral regurgitation reduction. This study may help direct the design of an optimal annuloplasty ring to further improve patient outcomes.

View details for DOI 10.1186/s12872-022-02515-x

View details for PubMedID 35219298