Catheterization and cardiovascular interventions : official journal of the Society for Cardiac Angiography & Interventions

Transcatheter treatment of tricuspid regurgitation by caval valve implantation--experimental evaluation of decellularized tissue valves in central venous position.

PMID 24403276


Caval valve implantation has been suggested for transcatheter treatment of severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR). Combining the interventional technique with the promising surgical experience with decellularized valves, we sought to evaluate the functional and structural outcome of decellularized pericardial tissue valves (dTVs) in the low-pressure venous circulation in a chronic model of TR. Sixteen pericardial tissue valves were heterotopically implanted in the inferior and superior vena cava in a sheep model (54-98 kg; median 74.5 kg, n = 8) of severe TR. The devices were assembled using self-expanding nitinol stents and bovine pericardia decellularized by a detergent-based protocol (group dTV; n = 8). Glutaraldehyde-fixed pericardial tissue valves served as control (GaTV, n = 8). After 6 months, device function and structural maturation were analyzed using echocardiographic, histologic, immunohistologic, and electron microscopic approaches. After implantation, cardiac output increased significantly from 3.7 ± 1.1 l/min to 4.8 ± 1.1 l/min (P < 0.05) and competent valve function was verified by angiography. At 6 months, angiographic and echocardiographic evaluation revealed moderate to severe regurgitation in all GaTV. In contrast, five of the eight dTVs functioned well with only minor regurgitation. In these animals, autopsy revealed preserved valve structure with tender leaflets without signs of thrombosis or calcification. Conversely, GaTV showed severe degeneration with large calcification areas. Microscopic and histologic analysis confirmed endothelial repopulation in both valve types. However, additional interstitial reseeding was observed in decellularized valves. In the venous circulation in severe TR, decellularized valves show superior functional performance compared to Ga-fixed tissue valves. Macroscopic and microscopic analyses suggest preserved structural integrity and advanced endothelial and interstitial repopulation with evidence of less degradation in dTV. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.