Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Excessive mechanical stresses on valvular leaflets are considered an important factor in the degeneration of cardiac porcine bioprosthetic valves. This study describes a computer-assisted numerical model of a bioprosthetic valve which estimates the magnitude and distribution of leaflet stresses. The study also describes our initial attempts to determine the influence of stent height upon leaflet stresses. Whereas lowering stent heights has been suggested to improve hemodynamics in the bioprosthetic valve region, results indicate that an increase in leaflet stresses can accompany reductions of stent height.