Improving the inflow characteristics of the right ventricular function and pulmonary circulatory hemodynamics was essential for more precise evaluation of newly designed heart valves. To examine a pulmonary hemodynamics, the authors have been developing a pulmonary mechanical mock circulatory system. In this study, the pneumatically driven right atrium model was newly developed for clarifying the effect of atrial contraction on the dynamic behavior of pulmonary prosthetic valves. We focused on the hemodynamic behavior of the outflow mechanical heart valve of the right ventricle that could be affected by the right atrial dynamic motion. A medical-grade bileaflet valve was employed and installed into the outflow portion of the right ventricle model and examined its changes in hemodynamic behavior caused by the active right atrial contraction. With the active atrial contraction, hemodynamic waveforms of either the right ventricle or atrium were obtained using the modified pulmonary mock circulatory system. The characteristics with atrial contraction were well simulated as the natural hemodynamics. The right ventricular output increased by around 5% and the peak regurgitant flow at the moment of valve closing significantly decreased by the presence of the atrial contraction. Our mechanical circulatory system could simulate the end-diastolic right ventricular inflow characteristics. We found that the atrial contraction under the low pressure condition such as pulmonary circulation promoted earlier valve closing and prolonged closing duration of prosthetic valve. The simulation of right atrial contraction was important in the quantitative examination of right heart prosthetic valves for congenital heart malformation.
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