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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


GIULIATTI, S. et al. A pulsatile flow model for in vitro quantitative evaluation of prosthetic valve regurgitation. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2000, vol.33, n.3, pp.341-346. ISSN 0100-879X.

A pulsatile pressure-flow model was developed for in vitro quantitative color Doppler flow mapping studies of valvular regurgitation. The flow through the system was generated by a piston which was driven by stepper motors controlled by a computer. The piston was connected to acrylic chambers designed to simulate "ventricular" and "atrial" heart chambers. Inside the "ventricular" chamber, a prosthetic heart valve was placed at the inflow connection with the "atrial" chamber while another prosthetic valve was positioned at the outflow connection with flexible tubes, elastic balloons and a reservoir arranged to mimic the peripheral circulation. The flow model was filled with a 0.25% corn starch/water suspension to improve Doppler imaging. A continuous flow pump transferred the liquid from the peripheral reservoir to another one connected to the "atrial" chamber. The dimensions of the flow model were designed to permit adequate imaging by Doppler echocardiography. Acoustic windows allowed placement of transducers distal and perpendicular to the valves, so that the ultrasound beam could be positioned parallel to the valvular flow. Strain-gauge and electromagnetic transducers were used for measurements of pressure and flow in different segments of the system. The flow model was also designed to fit different sizes and types of prosthetic valves. This pulsatile flow model was able to generate pressure and flow in the physiological human range, with independent adjustment of pulse duration and rate as well as of stroke volume. This model mimics flow profiles observed in patients with regurgitant prosthetic valves.

Keywords : flow model; echocardiography; valvular regurgitation.

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