Hemodynamics of St. Jude Medical prostheses in the small aortic root: in vivo studies using dobutamine Doppler echocardiography.

The Journal of heart valve disease

PubMedID: 9130118

Kadir I, Izzat MB, Birdi I, Wilde P, Reeves B, Bryan AJ, Angelini GD. Hemodynamics of St. Jude Medical prostheses in the small aortic root: in vivo studies using dobutamine Doppler echocardiography. J Heart Valve Dis. 1997;6(2):123-9.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS OF THE STUDY
The well known correlation between prosthetic valve orifice area and transvalvular pressure drop has raised concerns about the presence of significant residual gradients when only a small-sized prosthesis can be implanted, particularly in patients with a large body surface area. The aim of this study was to study the hemodynamic performance of small-size St. Jude Medical aortic prostheses using dobutamine echocardiography.

METHODS
Fifteen patients (14 females, one male, of mean age 67 years) who had undergone aortic valve replacement with size 19 mm St. Jude Medical prostheses at a mean of 19 +/- 8 (SD) months previously were studied. Dobutamine infusion was started at a rate of 5 micrograms/kg/min and increased to 10 and subsequently to 20 micrograms/kg/min at 15-min intervals. Pulsed and continuous-wave Doppler studies were performed at rest and at the end of each stage. Effective orifice area (EOA) and mean gradient across each prosthesis were calculated, and cardiac output (CO) was determined by Doppler measurement of flow in the left ventricular outflow tract.

RESULTS
Dobutamine-stress increased heart rate and cardiac output by 57% and 86% respectively (both p < 0.0005), and mean transvalvular gradient increased from 22.0 +/- 4.9 mmHg at rest to 41.9 +/- 9 mmHg at maximum stress (p < 0.0001). Regression modeling analyses demonstrated that maximum stress gradient was independent of all variables except resting gradient (p = 0.0068). Body surface areas had no effect on the changes in cardiac output, effective orifice area or transprosthetic gradient at maximum stress.

CONCLUSIONS
These data demonstrate that the size 19 mm St. Jude Medical prosthesis exhibits favorable hemodynamic performance. Transvalvular gradients remained within a clinically acceptable range, both at rest and under stress conditions. Moreover, in the patient population studied, overall hemodynamic performance indicates that with St. Jude Medical aortic valves, patient-prosthesis mismatch is unlikely to be a problem of clinical importance.