Objective We investigated the feasibility of percutaneous valved stent implantation in the ascending aorta as an alternative treatment for very high-risk elderly patients with aortic regurgitation.
Methods A total of 16 healthy dogs weighing an average of 18.3 ± 2.1 kg were used for the establishment of animal models of chronic aortic regurgitation by percutaneous aortic valve perforation and balloon dilation. At 2 months after successful model establishment, all experimental animals underwent valved stent implantation in the ascending aorta, and then were followed up for 3 months.
Results Experimental models of chronic aortic regurgitation were successfully established in 10 dogs. Survival dogs underwent successful valved stent implantation in the ascending aorta and were subsequently followed up for 3 months. The instantaneous aortic regurgitation at 3 months follow-up was significantly reduced as compared with the level before valved stent implantation (2.4 ± 0.9 vs. 10.6 ± 2.1 ml/s, P ejection fraction was significantly increased (53.8 ± 4.2 vs. 37.8 ± 3.7, P < 0.05), and the left ventricular end-diastolic volume was also significantly reduced (30.3 ± 2.2 vs. 40.1 ± 3.6ml, P < 0.05). No paravavular leak, stroke, atrioventricular block or other complications occurred in dogs undergoing valved stent implantation.
Conclusions Percutaneous valved stent implantation in the ascending aorta is feasible, effective and safe as an alternative treatment for very high-risk elderly patients with aortic regurgitation.