Objectives: Stent implantation for the treatment of aortic coarctation has become a standard approach for the management of older children and adults. Criteria for optimal stent design and construction remain undefined. This study used computational modelling to compare the performance of two generations of the Cheatham-Platinum stent (NuMED, Hopkinton, NY, USA) deployed in aortic coarctation using finite element analysis.
Design: Three-dimensional models of both stents, reverse engineered from microCT scans, were implanted in the aortic model of one representative patient. They were virtually expanded in the vessel with a 16 mm balloon and a pressure of 2 atm.
Results: The conventional stent foreshortened to 96.5% of its initial length, whereas the new stent to 99.2% of its initial length. Diameters in 15 slices across the conventional stent were 11.6-15 mm (median 14.2 mm) and slightly higher across the new stent: 10.7-15.3 mm (median 14.5 mm) (p= 0.021). Apposition to the vessel wall was similar: conventional stent 31.1% and new stent 28.6% of total stent area.
Conclusions: The new design Cheatham-Platinum stent showed similar deployment results compared to the conventional design. The new stent design showed slightly higher expansion, using the same delivery balloon. Patient-specific computational models can be used for virtual implantation of new aortic stents and promise to inform subsequent in vivo trials.