Acute performance of a novel restorative transcatheter aortic valve: preclinical results

EuroIntervention. 2017 Dec 8;13(12):e1410-e1417. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-17-00554.


Aims: The Xeltis aortic valve leaflets are made from a bioabsorbable supramolecular polymer that guides the tissue to restoring itself. It is mounted on a self-expanding nitinol frame that includes three feelers and a native leaflet clipping mechanism. We sought to investigate the acute valve performance in a preclinical setting.

Methods and results: In 33 sheep, 26 mm Xeltis aortic valves were transapically implanted in a 23 mm native annulus. Aortography (analysable, n=28) and echocardiography (analysable, n=20) images were acquired immediately after implantation of the Xeltis aortic valve to assess the acute device performance. On echocardiography, transvalvular peak pressure gradient (PG) was 7.4 (IQR: 6.0-8.9) mmHg, mean PG was 4.0 (IQR: 3.0-5.0) mmHg, and effective orifice area was 2.2 (IQR: 1.6-2.5) cm2. Trace (n=6), mild (n=2) and no (n=12) transvalvular aortic regurgitation (AR) were seen. Likewise, no paravalvular AR was detected in 7 cases, whereas trace, mild and moderate were seen in 7, 5 and 1 cases, respectively. On quantitative videodensitometric AR (VD-AR) assessment, a median value of 6% (IQR: 1-12%) of AR was seen. Three cases had a VD-AR superior to 17%, which has a prognostic significance. Out of these three cases, two had echocardiographic assessment available, which showed mild and moderate paravalvular regurgitation due to inadequate leaflet clipping.

Conclusions: In a transapical ovine model, the novel restorative transcatheter aortic valve with bioabsorbable leaflets demonstrated good haemodynamic performance comparable to commercially available devices. The highly porous polymeric leaflets demonstrated good competence immediately after implantation with no cases having >mild transvalvular AR.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Animals
  • Aortic Valve / physiology*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Regeneration
  • Sheep
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement*