The aim was to evaluate the impact of a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) on local shear stress and on the pressure profile on the elements of the aortic root (AoR).
The experiment setup included a BAV with aortic valve stenosis (n = 5 pigs, 67 ± 3.5 kg) and insufficiency (n = 5 pigs, 66.7 ± 4.4 kg). By implanting 6 high-fidelity microsonometric crystals in each AoR, we determined the 3-dimensional (3D) geometry of the AoR. Experimental and geometric data were used to create a 3D time- and pressure-dependent computed fluid dynamic model of the AoR with the BAV.
3D AoR geometry was determined by AoR tilt (α) and rotation angle (β). Both values were maximal at the end of diastole: 24.41 ± 1.70° (α) and 20.90 ± 2.11° (β) for BAV with stenosis and 31.92 ± 11.51° (α) and 20.84 ± 9.80° (β) for BAV with insufficiency and minimal at peak ejection 23.42 ± 1.65° (α), 20.38 ± 1.61° (β) for stenosis and 26.62 ± 7.86° (α), 19.79 ± 8.45° (β) for insufficiency. In insufficiency, low shear stress of 0-0.08 Pa and moderate pressure (60-80 mmHg) were present. In BAV with stenosis, low shear stress of 0-0.5 Pa and moderate pressure (0-20 mmHg) were present at diastole; at peak ejection high shear stress >2 Pa and elevated pressure of >80 mmHg were present.
In a BAV with aortic valve stenosis, the haemodynamics are less favourable. The elevated pressure with elevated shear stress may over the long term promote degenerative processes in the leaflets and consequently valve function failure.