Authors: Barbaro, V. | Grigioni, M. | Daniele, C. | D’Avenio, G.
Heart valve replacement has become, since many years, a common surgical practice. Along with the improvement that the patients’ health has derived from it, however, a certain amount of risk could not be avoided, bound to the inevitable hemodynamic disturbances that an artificial device generates. A major shortcoming, often reported, is the formation of thrombus on the edge of the prosthetic valve, with a possible obstruction of the orifices through which blood should normally flow undisturbed. Hemolysis is another possible consequence of the implantation of a mechanical heart valve, generally correlated to turbulence downstream of prosthetic heart valves (PHV).
…As it is agreed upon by many researchers, the risk of thrombogenicity or hemolysis is higher in those valves that are more subject to promote turbulence and flow separation in the flow through them. In the following paper, we present a study of the turbulence-related shear stress downstream of a bileaflet valve of minimum size (19 mm external diameter) Sorin Bicarbon. This size was chosen, accordingly to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) draft guidance suggestion to investigate the worst case in turbulence promoted by PHVs, in order to have the highest velocity gradients and shear stresses for the FDA-stated cardiac output (6 l/min), related to maximum Reynolds number conditions. Velocity data were collected with the two-dimensional laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) technique; whereas this approach does not investigate directly all three components of the flow field, in the present case (bileaflet valves) it is not a limitation to the assessment of the maximum turbulence shear stress (TSS), thanks to the two-dimensional flow nature downstream of bileaflet models. Data taken in coincident mode were elaborated in order to determine the maximum shear stress in the measured points in the flow field, using the 2D Principal Stress Analysis (PSA). The consequences of a variable principal normal stress direction all along the measured profile will be illustrated in terms of differences between measured and maximum shear stresses. Results show the need to estimate the maximum values for the TSS and the direction along which it is obtained to correctly define the turbulent flow field downstream of PHVs.
Keywords: Flow visualization, laser Doppler anemometry, principal stress analysis, cardiac valve prostheses, in vitro testing, velocity profiles
Citation: Technology and Health Care,
vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 259-270, 1998
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