Heart valve that grows with the child lowers the need for risky multiple heart surgeries

Heart valve that grows with the child lowers the need for risky multiple heart surgeries

A breakthrough medical technology can save the lives of children with heart defects. Scientists have developed the first-ever heart valve that grows with the child, reducing the need for risky heart surgeries in the future. Children with congenital heart disease who need valve replacement often undergo multiple surgeries because the valve cannot grow as the child's heart grows. They need multiple heart surgeries to change the heart valve to accommodate the growing size of the heart. However, these surgeries are risky and pose a threat to the child's health. To solve this problem, a team of scientists from Boston Children's Hospital developed a prosthetic valve that mimics the geometry of the human venous valve. Composed of polymeric leaflets attached to a stainless-steel stent, the valve can be expanded by a minimally invasive balloon catheter procedure, reducing invasive open-heart surgeries. The doctors can use keyhole surgery to insert a rubber tube attached to a deflated balloon in the valve. They can inflate it depending on the child's heart size. The valve replacement expanding to accommodate different lengths in implanted sheep. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the Feb. 19, 2020, issue of Science Translational Medicine, published by AAAS. The paper, by S.C. Hofferberth at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, MA; and colleagues was titled, "A geometrically adaptable heart valve replacement." Image Credit: S.C. Hofferberth et al., Science Translational Medicine (2020) Multiple heart surgeries Congenital heart valve disease is life-threatening, and children with this condition may need valve replacement early in their lives. However, children grow, and the artificial heart valve may not be able to accommodate the heart's increasing size. Many children with this condition face high-risk and multiple open-heart surgeries to remove the valves and replace then with bigger ones. The scientists used computational modeling to predict how their valve replacement expanded to deal with the stress of blood flow. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the Feb. 19, 2020, issue of Science Translational Medicine, published by AAAS. The paper, by S.C. Hofferberth at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, MA; and colleagues was titled, "A geometrically adaptable heart valve replacement." Credit: S.C. Hofferberth et al., Science Translational Medicine (2020) For the first time, the new valve, a biomimetic prosthetic valve, adapts to accommodate growth and structural asymmetries within the heart. In previous heart valve models, they contain three leaflet-like flaps providing a one-way inlet or outlet for blood flow. However, in the new heart valve, it only has two flaps, with a geometry designed to maintain closure, and a one-way flow even when the veins expand in diameter. "Veins carry approximately 70 percent of our blood volume. The vein dimensions can change dramatically depending on body position, yet the valves must remain functional. We mimicked the geometric profile of the human venous valve to design a bi-leaflet valve of programmed dimensions that is adaptable to growth without loss of one-way flow control," Dr. Sophie C. Hofferberth, a surgical resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital and lead researcher at Boston Children's Hospital, said. New artificial heart valve on the way Related Stories



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