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Stent and Leaflet Stresses in 29-mm Second-Generation Balloon-Expandable Transcatheter Aortic Valve



Equipoise of transcatheter aortic valve replacement with surgical aortic valve replacement in intermediate-risk patients has been demonstrated. As transcatheter aortic valve replacement usage expands, questions regarding long-term durability become paramount. Valve design impacts durability with regions of increased leaflet stress being vulnerable to early failure. However, transcatheter aortic valve (TAV) leaflet stresses are unknown. The objective of this study was to determine stent and leaflet stresses of second-generation balloon-expandable TAV.


Commercial 29-mm Edwards Sapien XT (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA) valves underwent high-resolution microcomputed tomography scanning to develop precise three-dimensional geometric mesh. Compressed and uncompressed TAVs were modeled under systemic pressure using finite element software. Material properties of stent were based on cobalt-chromium, whereas those for leaflets were obtained from surgical bioprostheses.


Maximum and minimum principal stresses on uncompressed Sapien XT TAV were 1.63 MPa and -0.36 MPa on leaflets and 93.3 MPa and -105.6 MPa on stent at diastolic pressure. Peak leaflet stress was observed at commissural tips where leaflets connected to the stent. For compressed TAV to 26 mm, maximum and minimum principal stresses were 1.55 MPa and -0.63 MPa on leaflets and 526.1 MPa and -902.2 MPa on stent at diastolic pressure. Peak leaflet stress was located at similar position and also along the suture line with the Dacron (C. R. Bard, Haverhill, PA).


Stress analysis of two extreme deployed geometries of 29-mm Edwards Sapien XT using exact geometry from high-resolution scans demonstrated that peak stresses for TAV leaflets were present at commissural tips where leaflets were attached. These regions would be mostly likely to initiate degeneration.

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