Animal models for heart valve research and development

Arash Kheradvar, Ramin Zareian, Shimako Kawauchi, Richard L. Goodwin, Sandra Rugonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Valvular heart disease is the third-most common cause of heart problems in the United States. Malfunction of the valves can be acquired or congenital and each may lead either to stenosis or regurgitation, or even both in some cases. Heart valve disease is a progressive disease, which is irreversible and may be fatal if left untreated. Medications cannot currently prevent valvular calcification or help repair damaged valves, as valve tissue is unable to regenerate spontaneously. Thus, heart valve replacement/repair is the only current available treatment. Heart valve research and development is currently focused on two parallel paths; first, research that aims to understand the underlying mechanisms for heart valve disease to emerge with an ultimate goal to devise medical treatment; and second, efforts to develop repair and replacement options for a diseased valve. Studies that focus on developmental malformation, including genetic and epigenetic causes, usually employ small animal models that are easy to access for in vivo imaging that minimally disturbs their environment during early stages of development. Alternatively, studies that aim to develop novel devices for replacement and repair of diseased valves often employ large animals whose heart size and anatomy closely replicate human's. This paper aims to briefly review the current state-of-the-art animal models, and justification to use an animal model for a particular heart valve related project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Discovery Today: Disease Models
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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