Objective: We sought to investigate a placement of a percutaneous low-profile prosthetic valve constructed of small intestinal submucosa in the pulmonary position in a swine model. Methods: Twelve female farm pigs were stented at the native pulmonary valve to induce pulmonary insufficiency. Once right ventricular dilation occurred, the small intestinal submucosa valve was implanted. The pigs were followed up with transthoracic echocardiographic Doppler scanning. One animal died of heart failure before valve replacement. Animals were euthanized at 1 day, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after valve implantation. Results: The small intestinal submucosa pulmonary valve showed effective reversal of pulmonary regurgitation. There were no misplacements during deployment. There were no embolizations. One-year echocardiographic follow-up showed minimal regurgitation and no stenosis for a valve/vessel ratio of 0.78 or greater. Histologic examination demonstrated intensive remodeling of the small intestinal submucosal valve. Within 1 month, the surface was covered by endothelium, and fibroblasts invaded the interior. Over the following months, the small intestinal submucosal valve remodeled without apparent graft rejection. Conclusion: The small intestinal submucosa valve has the potential for graft longevity without the need for anticoagulation or immunosuppression. Histologic remodeling of the valve tissue provides a replacement capable of resembling a native valve that can be placed percutaneously with low-profile delivery systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine