Ex Vivo Model of Functional Mitral Regurgitation Using Deer Hearts

Michal Jaworek, Andrea Mangini, Edoardo Maroncelli, Federico Lucherini, Rubina Rosa, Eleonora Salurso, Emiliano Votta, Carlo Antona, Gianfranco Beniamino Fiore, Riccardo Vismara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcatheter therapies are emerging for functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) treatment, however there is lack of pathological models for their preclinical assessment. We investigated the applicability of deer hearts for this purpose.8 whole deer hearts were housed in a pulsatile flow bench. At baseline, all mitral valves featured normal coaptation. The pathological state was induced by 60-minutes intraventricular constant pressurization. It caused mitral annulus dilation (antero-posterior diameter increase from 31.8 ± 5.6 mm to 39.5 ± 4.9 mm, p = 0.001), leaflets tethering (maximal tenting height increase from 7.3 ± 2.5 mm to 12.7 ± 3.4 mm, p < 0.001) and left ventricular diameter increase (from 67.8 ± 7.5 mm to 79.4 ± 6.5 mm, p = 0.004). These geometrical reconfigurations led to restricted mitral valve leaflets motion and leaflet coaptation loss. Preliminary feasibility assessment of two FMR treatments was performed in the developed model.Deer hearts showed ability to dilate under constant pressurization and have potential to be used for realistic preclinical research of novel FMR therapies. Graphical abstract figure legend: Deer heart mitral valve fiberscopic and echocardiographic images in peak systole at baseline and after inducing the pathological conditions representing functional mitral regurgitation. In the pathological conditions lack of coaptation between the leaflets, enlargement of the antero-posterior distance (red dashed line) and the left ventricular diameter (orange dashed line) were observed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Translational Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 21 2020


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