Mitral Valve Posterior Leaflet Reconstruction Using Extracellular Matrix: In Vitro Evaluation

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PURPOSE: To investigate the anatomical and functional effects of complete surgical reconstruction of the posterior mitral leaflet and associated chordae tendineae with a patch made of 2-ply small intestinal submucosal extracellular matrix in vitro.

METHODS: Seven explanted mitral valves with intact subvalvular apparatus from 80-kg pigs were evaluated in a left heart simulator and served as their own controls. After testing the native valve, the mitral posterior leaflet and associated chordae tendineae were excised and reconstructed by using the 2-ply small intestinal submucosa extracellular matrix patch. The characterization of the reconstruction was based on geometric data from digital images, papillary muscle force, annular tethering force and leaflet pressure force.

RESULTS: The reconstructed valves were fully functional without regurgitation, tearing or rupture during incrementally increased pressure from 0 to 120 mmHg. The leaflet areas were preserved after reconstruction, with a normal configuration of the coaptation line. However, the coaptation midpoint moved posteriorly after reconstruction (A2: 15.8 ± 1.4 vs. 18.9 ± 1.5 mm, p = 0.002, diff = 3.1 mm, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.8 mm). The anterior papillary muscle force increased significantly (3.9 vs. 4.6 N, p = 0.029, diff = 0.7 N, 95% CI 0.1 to 1.4 N at 120mmHg) after reconstruction. The posterior papillary muscle force, leaflet pressure force and annular pressure force did not change significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: In this in vitro model, mitral valve anatomy and function were comparable between the native mitral valve and our new surgical technique for complete reconstruction of the posterior mitral leaflet and associated chordae tendineae. These promising results warrant further in vivo evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular Engineering and Technology
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • 2-ply small intestinal submucosa extracellular matrix, CorMatrix, Mitral valve reconstruction, Mitral valve repair, Papillary muscle force, Posterior leaflet reconstruction

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