Ex vivo biomechanical analysis of the Ross procedure using the modified inclusion technique in a 3-dimensionally printed left heart simulator

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Sep 16;S0022-5223(21)01315-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.06.070. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: The inclusion technique was developed to reinforce the pulmonary autograft to prevent dilation after the Ross procedure. Anticommissural plication (ACP), a modification technique, can reduce graft size and create neosinuses. The objective was to evaluate pulmonary valve biomechanics using the inclusion technique in the Ross procedure with and without ACP.

Methods: Seven porcine and 5 human pulmonary autografts were harvested from hearts obtained from a meat abattoir and from heart transplant recipients and donors, respectively. Five additional porcine autografts without reinforcement were used as controls. The Ross procedure was performed using the inclusion technique with a straight polyethylene terephthalate graft. The same specimens were tested both with and without ACP. Hemodynamic parameter data, echocardiography, and high-speed videography were collected via the ex vivo heart simulator.

Results: Porcine autograft regurgitation was significantly lower after the use of inclusion technique compared with controls (P < .01). ACP compared with non-ACP in both porcine and human pulmonary autografts was associated with lower leaflet rapid opening velocity (3.9 ± 2.4 cm/sec vs 5.9 ± 2.4 cm/sec; P = .03; 3.5 ± 0.9 cm/sec vs 4.4 ± 1.0 cm/sec; P = .01), rapid closing velocity (1.9 ± 1.6 cm/sec vs 3.1 ± 2.0 cm/sec; P = .01; 1.8 ± 0.7 cm/sec vs 2.2 ± 0.3 cm/sec; P = .13), relative rapid opening force (4.6 ± 3.0 vs 7.7 ± 5.2; P = .03; 3.0 ± 0.6 vs 4.0 ± 2.1; P = .30), and relative rapid closing force (2.5 ± 3.4 vs 5.9 ± 2.3; P = .17; 1.4 ± 1.3 vs 2.3 ± 0.6; P = .25).

Conclusions: The Ross procedure using the inclusion technique demonstrated excellent hemodynamic parameter results. The ACP technique was associated with more favorable leaflet biomechanics. In vivo validation should be performed to allow direct translation to clinical practice.

Keywords: Ross procedure; aortic valve replacement; pulmonary autograft; pulmonary valve.