Small aortic annulus: the hydrodynamic performances of 5 commercially available bileaflet mechanical valves

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Sep;128(3):457-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2004.03.021.


Objective: Hemodynamic performances of mechanical valve prostheses in patients with aortic valve stenosis and a small aortic annulus are crucial. We analyzed the in vitro hydrodynamics of 5 currently available bileaflet mechanical prostheses that fitted a 21-mm-diameter valve holder of a Sheffield pulse duplicator.

Methods: Three samples of 5 high-performance production-quality prostheses, including the sewing ring cuffs, were tested in the aortic chamber of a Sheffield pulse duplicator. Sizes of the prostheses fitting the 21-mm valve holder were as follows: 18-mm ATS, 19-mm SJM Regent, 19-mm Sorin Bicarbon Slimline, 19-mm On-X, and 21-mm Carbomedics Top Hat. The tests were carried out at a fixed pulse rate (70 beats/min) and at increasing cardiac outputs of 2, 4, 5, and 7 L/min. Each valve was tested 10 times for each different cardiac output. This resulted in a total of 40 tests for each valve and 120 tests for each valve model. The aortic pressure was set at 120/80 mm Hg (mean pressure, 100 mm Hg) throughout the experiment for all cardiac outputs. Forward flow pressure decrease, total regurgitant volume, closing and leakage volumes, effective orifice area, and stroke work loss were recorded while the valve operated under each cardiac output.

Results: The SJM Regent valve and the Sorin Bicarbon Slimline prosthesis showed the lowest mean and peak gradients at increasing cardiac outputs. The closure volume was higher for the SJM Regent and Sorin Bicarbon Slimline prostheses, unlike with the ATS prosthesis at 7 L/min of cardiac output. The ATS and SJM Regent prostheses showed the largest regurgitant volume, whereas the Sorin Bicarbon Slimline prosthesis showed the lowest regurgitant volume. The calculated effective orifice area and stroke work loss were significantly better with the SJM Regent and Sorin Bicarbon Slimline prostheses.

Conclusion: Assuming that the 21-mm valve holder in which all the tested prostheses were accommodated is comparable with a defined aortic valve size, this hydrodynamic evaluation model allowed us to compare the efficiency of currently available valve prostheses, and among these, the SJM Regent and the Sorin Bicarbon Slimline exhibited the best performances.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Valve* / anatomy & histology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Water


  • Water