OBJECTIVES: Sinus plication has emerged as a promising tool that can lead to better stability in bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) repair. However, the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of this technique are unclear. We evaluated the hydrodynamic effect of sinus plication using the experimental pulsatile flow simulator and our original BAV model in vitro. METHODS: Based on the computed tomography data of a BAV patient who had undergone aortic valvuloplasty, a BAV model (group C, n = 6) was developed with bovine pericardium and vascular prosthesis (J-graft Shield Neo Valsalva 24 mm). We performed sinus plication (group SP, n = 6) in the BAV model and compared hydrodynamic data with the control model in the pulsatile flow simulator. Non-fused cusp angle, annulus diameter and effective height were measured by ultrasonography. RESULTS: The average flow was significantly increased in group SP compared to group C (4.24 ± 0.14 l/min vs 4.14 ± 0.15 l/min, respectively, P = 0.034). The mean transvalvular pressure gradient and regurgitant fraction were significantly decreased in group SP compared to group C (11.6 ± 4.3 mmHg vs 16.6 ± 5.0 mmHg, respectively, P = 0.009 and 14.1 ± 2.0% vs 17.4 ± 2.1%, respectively, P = 0.001). Ultrasound measurement indicated that non-fused cusp angle was significantly increased in group SP compared to group C (163.8° ± 9.2° vs 153.0° ± 4.6°, respectively, P = 0.012). CONCLUSIONS: Sinus plication in the BAV model significantly increased the commissural angle. It was effective in not only controlling regurgitation but also improving valve opening. These finding should be confirmed by evaluating cusp stress and/or long-term durability in the future studies.
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